Genting HK’s World Dream sold to Cruise Saudi

The final cruise ship from the former Genting Hong Kong operation, Dream Cruises’ World Dream (IMO 9733117), has been sold in Singapore. It has been sold to  Cruise Saudi and renamed as the Manara. Currently still in Singapore anchorage the Manara has been re-registered with a new homeport of Majuro, Marshall Islands (previously it had been Bahamas-flagged). World Dream’s P&I Club had been The Swedish Club (Singapore Offshore Team), with a policy in place for the 2023-24 policy year on behalf of World Dream Ltd.

Singapore’s High Court listed the cruise ship among the assets sold as of February 24th, with a court notice dated March 3rd confirming the sale, generating proceeds to the court of $330m.

The World Dream was brought under the control of the Singapore court in May 2022 as the liquidators worked to resolve the bankruptcy of Genting Hong Kong. It had been arrested by KfW IPEX-Bank in March 2022 – that bank having been the financer of the construction of the ship in Germany for Genting HK.

There was an auction in December 2022, but no qualifying bid was received.

Lars Clasen, CEO of Cruise Saudi, said that “the ship has been renamed to reflect its new ownership and will now undergo a refit”.

Built in 2017 by Meyer Werft, the 150,700 gt World Dream was largely based on a design developed for Norwegian Cruise Line.

Norwegian Cruise Line, which was controlled by Genting HK, launched the Norwegian Breakaway in 2013 and the Norwegian Getaway in 2014. Genting HK ordered two nearly identical ships named Genting Dream (IMO 9733105) and World Dream, which were launched in 2016 and 2017 respectively and used in Asia to launch the company’s new brand Dream Cruises.

However, the cruise line had to suspend operations early in 2022 after the collapse of Genting Hong Kong. The World Dream was placed in a warm lay-up and was being maintained in the Singapore anchorage. A survey ordered by the court in October 2022 indicated that it was in excellent condition and ready to resume operations.

Cruise Saudi has Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund as a shareholder, and was launched to promote the cruise and tourism industry in Saudi Arabia. Recently Cruise Saudi announced a joint venture with the luxury hotel and resort Aman Group to build a yacht cruise ship in Italy. Saudi Arabia has said that it is targeting having five cruise ports operating in the country and more than 1m cruise passengers by 2028.

The Cruise Saudi purchase was something of a surprise in at least one sense, as there had been speculation that Resorts World Cruises, which was launched in June 2022 by Malaysian businessman Tan Sri KT Lim, the founder of Genting, was looking to snap up the World Dream at a bargain price.

Resorts World Cruises has chartered the Genting Dream, which Genting HK had previously sold to an investment group of Chinese banks. It recently added a second ship, chartering the 1999-built, 75,338 gt former Explorer Dream (now the Resorts World One) (IMO 9141077), which had also been operated by Dream Cruises.

With the World Dream finding a new owner, the last remnants of the Genting HK ship operations have become history. Ships from sibling cruise line Star Cruises have been sold for scrap, apart from one smaller ship that will be operated by a charity. The ocean cruise ships and the Crystal Cruises band were sold to new investors, while a German start-up acquired the river cruise ships. New-build Global Dream (IMO 9808986) was sold to Disney Cruise Line, which plans to introduce it in 2025. The blocks that were to have been used to build Global Dream II – which will now never see the light of day – were sold for scrap.