Former Genting HK Cruise Ship to be Sold at Auction
Efforts are continuing with the banks and provisional liquidators to complete the sale of the assets of Genting Hong Kong and its operating companies after the financial collapse of the organization at the beginning of 2022. In the latest step, an auction has been scheduled by the Sheriff of Singapore for the sale of the 2017-built cruise ship World Dream. This comes as two other former Genting Hong Kong cruise ships arrived at the scrap yards in India.
According to a notice posted by the Sheriff of Singapore, the sale has been ordered by the court as a follow-up to initial orders from May 2022. The cruise ship stopped sailing at the beginning of March more than a month after its operator Dream Cruises, part of Genting Hong Kong, sought court protection in the financial collapse of the organizations. Dream had proposed to continue its operations during a reorganization but the cruise ship was arrested by the German KfW IPEX-Bank, which had provided the construction financing.
The World Dream is 150,695 gross tons and was one of two modern cruise ships built by Genting Hong Kong after the company had been focusing its newbuilds on Norwegian Cruise Line, which it had invested in 2000. The World Dream and her sister ship Genting Dream were built by Meyer Werft as an adaptation of the Norwegian Breakaway.
Genting used the two cruise ships to launch a more deluxe operation called Dream Cruises focusing on the Asian and Chinese markets. The ship has accommodations for up to about 5,000 passengers.
Since March, the World Dream has been laid up off Singapore. The court ordered a surveyor to inspect the cruise ship in October and they issued a lengthy report concluding the “vessel is being maintained ready for passenger occupancy.” They report that it has a crew of 127 aboard maintaining the warm layup and regularly conducting maintenance and housekeeping as well as running the air-conditioning and ventilation to maintain proper humidity onboard.
“We would report that the vessel was maintained to a good working condition for the open spaces, machinery, and equipment. The interior spaces, facilities, and passenger cabins are well kept to a ready state for passenger occupancy and activity,” they wrote in the report.
Bids for the cruise ship are due at the Sheriff’s Office by December 21. The court is saying that bids should remain open for three months, but they also note that the Sheriff may not accept the highest or any of the bids. It is believed that the bank may seek a fair market value for the ship, especially because of its young age and good condition. A buyer will also need to pay $1.2 million for the bunker fuel aboard the ship.
Speculation centers on Resort World Cruises which was launched in June 2022 by Malaysian businessman Tan Sri KT Lim, the founder of Genting. The new cruise line chartered the sister ship Genting Dream, which Genting HK had previously sold to an investment group of Chinese banks, and resumed the former operation. It is thought that they would like to reacquire the World Dream to expand the successor cruise operation.
With the court moving toward the sale of this cruise ship, only one of Genting Hong Kong’s former cruise ships remains to be resolved. The Explorer Dream, which was built in 1999 as part of Genting’s Star Cruises, is currently anchored near Port Klang, Malaysia. The 75,000 gross ton cruise ship had been operating short cruises around Taiwan during the pandemic for Dream Cruises.
The last of Star Cruises ships, the Superstar Gemini and Superstar Aquarius, both arrived at Alang, India at the beginning of the week for scrapping. Built in 1992 and 1993 for Norwegian Cruise Line, they had later both been sold to Star Cruises and operated in Asia. Both ships had left service at the beginning of the pandemic in 2020 and never resumed sailing. They were sold a few months ago by the court for scrapping.