Angie Stephen, Royal Caribbean International Vice President, speaks to Cruise & Travel Asia about the line’s plans for 2023, demands for Asia sailings, and how the line stands out against competitors.
Spectrum of the Seas currently homeports out of Singapore, and sails three to five-night
itineraries to Port Klang, Penang and Phuket. The line will be introducing longer itineraries,
including 2-night cruises to and from Tokyo, Japan, which will kick off in July.
As Stephen observes, these longer itineraries have proved popular with cruisers.
“We’ve seen a strong appetite for our longer cruises. With that strong demand, we added two
more 12-night itineraries that will similarly give guests the opportunity to visit a variety of
destinations between Singapore and Japan, including Hong Kong, Hue/Danang in Vietnam, as
well as Nagasaki, Kumamoto, Okinawa and Ishigaki in Japan,” she said.
“These sailings can also be enjoyed back-to-back, visiting a new destination almost every day for the
entire 24- night adventure.”
Other longer itineraries to look forward to include 9-night Thailand & Vietnam cruises, kicking off
in January 2024. On these 9-night sailings with shore excursions, guests can discover
Southeast Asian destinations such as Bangkok (Laem Chabang), as well as Nha Trang and Ho
Chi Minh City (Phu My) in Vietnam.
Explaining RCI’s decision to include longer sailings, Stephen said, “Longer sailings give guests
the opportunity to visit multiple destinations across various countries, all in one holiday. Guests
can explore the region’s exciting cities, enjoying local cuisines, visit key landmarks and
experience breathtaking landscapes, sailing from one destination to the next onboard a world
class Royal Caribbean cruise.”
She added that longer cruises are a fantastic way to explore Asia conveniently and not spend
precious holiday time at airports or in transfers between cities and hotels. They are also great
value, with everything one needs for a great holiday included in the cruise price – fine dining
meals, Broadway-style entertainment and adventure packed activities – whether its bumper cars
at Seaplex, scaling the rock climbing wall or surfing the FlowRider.
Demand for shorter voyages on Spectrum has also been healthy post-pandemic.
“Today, we have many new cruise fans including Singapore locals, those from Southeast Asia
and further afield especially Australia and the US,” Stephen observes. “And with the return of
port-of-call sailings since the second half of 2022, our cruises have been even more in
She added that Black Friday 2022 was the cruise line’s single largest booking day in its 53-year
history, which marked the third time the record was broken in 2022 and the peak of what is now
Royal Caribbean’s highest volume booking week.
“Demand continues to be strong for 2023/2024,” Stephen said. “Our cruises have much to offer
with our technologically-advanced ships and an ever-expanding range of first-at-sea onboard
activities, and the cherry on top is enabling our guests to not only enjoy everything the ship
offers, but to also experience some of Asia’s energetic cities, traditional architecture and
For 2023, the line will continue to focus on the fly-cruise market as well.
“We are seeing a strong recovery in the fly-cruise sector and will continue to tap on that, as it is
the smoothest way to experience the region – guests only have to pack and unpack once,
there’s no time spent between flights and air transfers, and there’s minimal to no planning
required beforehand – we take care of it all,” said Stephen.
As she notes, much of the fly-cruise demand is coming from within the region with China, India,
Malaysia, and Indonesia leading the pack. The line is also seeing volume coming from long haul
markets like Australia, Europe and the US for longer sailings.
Royal Caribbean will continue to introduce different itineraries out of Singapore to attract the fly-
cruise market. At each destination, guests will have the option to try out one of the many shore
excursions the line offers, ranging from land tours infused with rich culture and history, to
adrenaline- amping outdoor thrills and off-the-grid exploration.
Stephen added, “Singapore is a top destination in and of itself, and its proximity to neighbouring
countries makes it easy to venture out and explore. There’s no better way to take full advantage of this than by taking a cruise, where guests can enjoy the ultimate
combination of thrills, entertainment, and dining as they sail from one sensational destination to
the next, onboard Spectrum of the Seas.”
With Singapore and Penang having upgraded their cruise terminal to accept Oasis-class ships,
and Icon of the Seas (the first ship in the Icon-class) sailing from Miami in January 2024, the line
also hopes to bring the newer ships to Southeast Asia.
“Continued infrastructure development to accept larger ships and provide destination
experiences for guests will remain important in attracting larger ships into the region,” notes
Given that cruising in Hong Kong has resumed again, Royal also hopes to resume sailings from
China in future.
“RCI welcomes news from the Ministry of Transport (MOT) of the People’s Republic of China of
a clear pathway being developed for cruising to restart in China,” said Stephen. “This is a
significant step in the resumption of operations for all cruise operators. We look forward to once
again welcoming our guests on board and to further collaboration with the MOT to return to
service in China.”
With Disney Cruise Lines, another family-oriented line, set to debut in Singapore in 2025,
Stephen notes that it is “surely an exciting time for the cruise industry in Singapore”. She
expresses confidence that RCI’s world-class reputation, innovation and industry ‘firsts’ will
continue to set it apart.
“Royal Caribbean’s award-winning ships are known for game-changing features which our
guests love, and our world class crew that provide a top-notch guest experience,” she said.
“With a strong reputation for driving innovation at sea, each successive class of ships is an
architectural marvel which pushes the envelope of what is possible on a cruise ship. We have
debuted countless industry “firsts”, a combination of thrills and experiences such as rock
climbing, ice skating and surfing at sea. There’s always more to come.”
RCI’s Icon of the Seas also features the “unthinkable” : the first suspended infinity pool at sea,
the largest waterpark at sea with six record-breaking slides, a sky walk and ropes course
located 154 ft above the ocean, minigolf with breathtaking sea views, and more.
“Families and friends are prioritising experiences where they can both bond as well as enjoy
their own adventures. Royal Caribbean’s ships will continue to offer all of that in one place,
taking care of the thrill-seeker, the chill enthusiasts and everyone in between, without
compromise,” said Stephen.