Dream Cruises is the first international cruise company to resume operations with the deployment of Explorer Dream in Taiwan, where she will begin island-hopping itineraries out of Keelung to Penghu, Matsu, Kinmen and Hualien from July 26 onwards. Guests on this cruise will also see the debut of the new Flexi-Feast dining concept which allows unprecedented flexibility for a completely customised dining experience at sea by allowing passengers the freedom to choose from a wider choice of venues and to dine at their leisure. As well, Flexi-Feast will provide additional peace of mind for guests by helping to ease bottlenecks at certain venues for a more spacious and more comfortable environment on board.
Michael Goh, President of Dream Cruises said, “Gastronomy is an integral part of a memorable voyage. The Flexi-Feast concept on Explorer Dream will open doors to a new world of customized dining at sea, curated by the preferences and habits of each individual traveler. We are confident that this innovative concept will cater to the expectations of discerning travelers who look for flexibility and autonomy in their dining experiences.”
“As we enter into a post-COVID-19 new norm of cruising, the Flexi-Feast strategy will also help us provide better social distancing at our dining venues by seating our guests across all our restaurants instead of concentrating on a few inclusive ones,” Goh continued. “We will continue to adhere to our stringent preventive measures on various aspects of the cruise journey, including comprehensive guidelines and protocols on food hygiene practices and standards, to ensure that travelers will be kept safe and reassured on their cruise journey,”
Dream Cruises’ Flexi-Feast dining concept will be applicable to all sailings of Explorer Dream’s island-hopping itinerary in Taiwan. Guests* will receive a set of complimentary dining vouchers upon embarkation, which can be used to redeem set meals at designated restaurants. Alternatively, the vouchers will be honored as onboard dining credits at specialty restaurants and bars, as well as for room service.
This innovative concept will allow travelers the flexibility to mix and match different food and beverage options that are available on-board, based on their habits and preferences, for a more comprehensive and personalised dining experience at sea. Instead of following a rigid schedule of three meals a day, guests now have the option of sleeping in and enjoying a scrumptious brunch at the restaurant of their choice at their leisure or skip dinner to catch the last stage performance of the day, then have a delicious meal by room service, thanks to the flexibility of the Flexi Feast dining vouchers.
As part of the new island-hopping itineraries, Dream Cruises is taking this opportunity to showcase the delicious culinary diversity of Taiwan and giving guests even more variety to whet their appetite. To highlight the abundant local cuisine options, Explorer Dream will collaborate with Taiwanese food and beverage brands including Sharetea – a leading bubble tea brand with over 28 years of history; Taihu Brewing, the world-acclaimed craft brewer and veteran of international beer competitions; Tien Hsia San Chueh Noodle Cuisine, honoree of the Bib Gourmand designation in 2019 MICHELIN Guide Taipei; and Formosa Cheng, Taiwan’s largest fast-food chain specializing in braised pork rice, a traditional local delicacy. In addition, all restaurants aboard Explorer Dream will serve specialty dishes created with seasonal local produce sourced in Taiwan, offering travelers an authentic Taiwan taste experience that transcends land and sea.
In preparation for the resumption of operations in Taiwan, Explorer Dream has also worked closely with local government and health authorities to ensure all aspects of the ship meets official health and safety guidelines.
Upon Explorer Dream’s arrival in Keelung, the crew immediately began 14 days of quarantine on land, while the cruise ship underwent a thorough deep cleaning in accordance with EU standard. On July 17, the crew had tested negative for COVID-19 based on nucleic acid tests and returned on board to undergo an additional 7-day self-health monitoring period which ended on 24 July.
Prior to the inaugural sailing on July 26, Explorer Dream also participated in an outbreak simulation drill under the guidance of the Taiwan Centers for Disease Control. Medical experts from the Taiwan Public Health Association consulted on the drill with professional advice to ensure the seamless execution of preventive measures both on board and on shore. Dream Cruises has also been exploring with local authorities the feasibility of hosting a medical professional aboard the ship to work as a consultant in collaboration with two in-house professional doctors, including the newly-added on-board Infection Control Officer, to ensure the smooth execution of preventive measures onboard.
Explorer Dream’s island-hopping itinerary in Taiwan has been met with an overwhelming market response, with sold-out sailings in July and August. The inaugural sailing will depart on July 26 to the scenic islands of Matsu and Penghu, where travelers will have the golden opportunity to enjoy the International Fireworks Festival from the panoramic and unobstructed vantage point at sea.
*With the exception of Palace guests, who have exclusive premium privileges and meal entitlement.