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Sinkie leisure cruise operator ventures into North Korea

Discussion in 'The Courtyard Café' started by Rogue Trader, Aug 19, 2013.

  1. Rogue Trader

    Rogue Trader Alfrescian (Inf)

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    Singaporean ship cruises to N. Korea


    [​IMG]Live music: Some of the ship's female crew performing popular North Korean songs with Pyongyang-styled dances.-The Straits Times/ Asia News Network.


    GIANT speakers thump out club hits as the deejay bellows: “Everybody get on the dance floor!”

    The nightspot is a boarded-up swimming pool on a ship sailing in North Korean waters. The groovers are mainly middle-aged men and women wearing pins featuring pictures of the late North Korean leaders Kim Il-sung and Kim Jong-il.

    Conspicuously missing was the beat of South Korean popstar Psy’s Gangnam Style.

    “We’re not allowed to play that one,” explains Danny Tay, the 46-year-old Singaporean who owns the ship.

    His Royale Star was the only ship permitted to ply North Korea’s first commercial cruise route running between northeastern Rajin port and the scenic southeastern Mount Kumgang resort.

    Since getting its licence in February, it has made three trips.

    Formerly a gaming ship in Singapore waters, the 138m-long vessel is no luxury liner, but a big improvement on the previous ship approved to ply the same route, theMangyongbyong, with its bare minimum of amenities.

    The Royale Star’s bathrooms are functioning, for starters, and all passenger cabins on its nine decks come with bunks, allowing for up to 250 passengers, with room for 250 crew. There’s also a karaoke lounge, a duty-free shop, a small casino, a massage parlour and a hair and nail salon.

    The Pyongyang government representative overseeing the operations on board toldThe Sunday Times: “Customers seem happier with the ‘Royale Star’ than with the ship before, so our government is pleased with its crew and Singaporean management... This cruise is important to developing our tourism, and we want to give more people a taste of North Korea.”

    So how did a Singaporean and his modest vessel end up promoting tourism in reclusive North Korea? Tay says that he made the first move last year after learning that North Korea had a cruise route.

    A primary school dropout who worked his way up the marine industry and who acquired the Royale Star in 2011 under his British Virgin Islands-registered company, Everis Capital Holdings, he approached North Korean officials to pitch his idea and the deal was sealed at the end of last year.

    “It’s been a dream to venture into North Korea since I was sent to repair a ship’s elevators in North Korean waters back in 1996,” said Tay.

    “I don’t speak the language but saw an opportunity and the untapped potential in cruises there.”

    The cruise was being marketed as a way for foreigners to visit one of the world’s most secretive countries.

    Several passengers on board during its latest trip at the end of last month had told The Sunday Times that curiosity had indeed prompted their travels.

    The five-day, four-night 4,000 yuan (RM2,132) cruise was targeted mainly at foreigners.

    Those who want to join the cruise must approach the vessel’s management directly, or sign up at the Royale Star booth in Rajin port. — The Straits Times / Asia News Network


     
  2. laksaboy

    laksaboy Alfrescian (Inf)

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    Singapore has always had a friendly relation with North Korea. Singapore is one of the few countries with a North Korean embassy.
     
  3. Scrooball (clone)

    Scrooball (clone) Alfrescian Old Timer

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    Clearly the governance bears some similarities
     
  4. GoldenDragon

    GoldenDragon Alfrescian (Inf)

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    Yup, not many places has father-son combo.
     
  5. watchman8

    watchman8 Alfrescian Old Timer

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    Hurray. Now the North Korean leader has an alternative transport to tour the world without flying.
     
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2013
  6. enterprise2

    enterprise2 Alfrescian Old Timer

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    Some of the performers not bad looking....!!
     
  7. laksaboy

    laksaboy Alfrescian (Inf)

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    I bet they perform this song.

    [video=youtube;v_KKgzVspag]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v_KKgzVspag[/video]
     
  8. CheeByeKiaTonyChat

    CheeByeKiaTonyChat Alfrescian Old Timer

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    Cruise to NK for fuck? I rather do ICT than go on this cruise. Who knows if they want harvest your organs!
     
  9. GOD IS MY DOG

    GOD IS MY DOG Alfrescian (Inf)

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    must be transporting certain goods or gold, etc etc to and fro both places lor.............
     
  10. jw5

    jw5 Moderator Old Timer Old Timer

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    One thing the SG leaders can learn from their N Korean counterparts, is not to worry about what other countries think of them.

    And if by any chance you think of venturing into N Korea, and in the unfortunate event you get detained, don't have too high hopes anyone from SG will come and get you like what Bill Clinton did for his fellow Americans.
     
  11. laksaboy

    laksaboy Alfrescian (Inf)

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    Cruise for gambling, entertainment and sex, what else? You think people go on cruise to go sightseeing? :rolleyes:
     
  12. CheeByeKiaTonyChat

    CheeByeKiaTonyChat Alfrescian Old Timer

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    Go join star cruise, carribean cruise or what have you la. This north korea cruise? Pass.
     

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