Remember when environmentalists (and the general public) in Singapore rejoiced when SIA decided to ditch their “flights to nowhere” idea after it conducted a market study and received criticism for its environmental impact?
Instead, they’ve launched their Restaurant A380 @ Changi where you can dine in a A380 double-decker superjumbo for 2 days (24 & 25 October). Of course, you can dine in Economy Class ($53.50) but who wants that? You want a Business Class meal, which costs a whopping $321. In First Class? Prepare to fork out $642! If you want airplane food at home, it’ll set you back at least $448 for their Business Class meal for 2 – which you have to heat up yourself.
However, all these experiences seem pretty reasonable for those who can afford it, and most of all, it’s not as destructive to the environment as flying the plane to nowhere. So it would seem that at least they were concerned enough for the environment to implement their Plan B.
But then the government threw us all in for a loop when they recently announced that they greenlit two cruise lines to have cruises to nowhere.
Cruises emit more carbon than jet planes
On paper, taking a boat to nowhere may seem like it pollutes less than flying in a jet, but this couldn’t be further from the truth. According to International Council on Clean Transportation, even the most efficient cruise ships emit 3 to 4 times more carbon dioxide per passenger-mile than a jet.
Let’s not forget the enormous amount of waste generated from cruises from sewage and rubbish being dumped, air and water being polluted, and invasive species being introduced by pumping ballast water.
If people were worried about being in close proximity to other passengers in a jet plane, cruise ships aren’t that much better. These “seacation” cruises are offering 3D2N stays, and cruise companies are calling these a safer option to staycations. Remembered what happened to all those cruises that became moving containers for Covid not too long ago?
The two cruise lines greenlit are Genting Cruise Lines’ World Dream (which will start chugging to nowhere on Nov 6), and Royal Caribbean International’s Quantum of the Seas which will set sail in December.
However, we are so travel-starved this year that perhaps this could be the first of many travel-based programmes to be greenlit in the months to come. Don’t hold your breath though. “For members who are hoping that I’m about to announce some air travel resumption and even possible December holiday destinations, I am sorry I will disappoint you,” according to Ong Ye Kung in a recent ministerial statement in Parliament.