Four of the cruise ships previously operated by Star Cruises from Genting Hong Kong have been sold off with reports that at least three of them are expected to arrive in Asian scrap yards soon. The joint provisional liquidators overseeing the disposal of the company and its assets apparently accepted the view of its advisers that the old cruise ships had limited future market potential.
Ships sold included one of the original ships that helped establish Star Cruises as Asia’s leading modern cruise brand, as well as two transitional cruise ships from the history of Norwegian Cruise Line and the northern cruise industry. -American. The fourth ship had been retired a few years ago and was being used for accommodation at the MV Werften shipyard in Genting, Germany. Only one cruise ship from Star Cruises, a smaller yacht-style cruise ship, appears to have been held back.
The three Asian cruise ships that have been sold, star fish, SuperStar Aquariusand Gemini SuperStar are all currently decommissioned in Penang, Malaysia. Only the Star Pisces had briefly resumed service after the pandemic-induced hiatus from short cruises from Penang in December 2021. Super star sister ships had been used in 2020 to house foreign workers in Singapore after recovering from COVID-19.
Built in 1990, Star Pisces began its career as a luxury Baltic passenger ferry named Calypso sailing for Viking Line with a sister ship. Rederi AB Slite, one of Viking Line’s investors and owner of the ships, however, went bankrupt three years later and the new ships were sold at auction. While Viking Line, DFDS and P&O Ferries were all expected to bid, they were beaten by a surprise for a new Asian company Star Cruises. Incorporated in November 1993, Star was established by Malaysian Chinese businessman Tan Sri Lim Kok Thay who said he was looking to diversify his casino business.
The sister ships SuperStar Aquarius and SuperStar Gemini were built for Norwegian Cruise Line (Star Cruises)
Rebuilt more suited to the cruise industry, Genting launched the sister ships as star fish and Aquarius Star (40,000 gross tons) with a modern program inspired by resort hotels including several restaurants and a large casino. The concept laid the foundation for changes in the global cruise industry and helped expand Star Cruises, which has acquired and sold several used cruise ships over the years. The company’s operations have introduced and modified routes with homeports located between Singapore, Taiwan, Malaysia and China. The company also built modern cruise ships in the mid-1990s at Meyer Werft in Germany with a design to support resort-style cruising.
Expanding rapidly in Asia, Star again surprised the industry by bidding to acquire Norwegian Cruise Line and ultimately beating out Carnival Corporation to acquire the US-based cruise line. Using the same resort-style cruising style, Star eventually revitalized Norwegian Cruise Line in partnership with US investment firm Apollo Management.
The sister ships that became the SuperStar Aquarius and Gemini SuperStar (51,000 gross tons) had been built for Norwegian Cruise Line in the early 1990s in France as Dream and In the wind and later lengthened and modernized as Norwegian Dream and norwegian wind. the norwegian wind was sold to Star in 2007 to become the SuperStar Aquarius and five years later Star also acquired its sister ship from Norwegian renaming it Gemini SuperStar. Star operated both ships in Asia on various cruises before the pandemic.
Built in 1988, SuperStar Libra was retired in 2018 (file photo)
The fourth cruise ship sold by the joint provisional liquidators previously operated as SuperStar Balance. The cruise ship was built by Wartsila in 1988 for Norwegian Cruise Line as Offshore (40,000 gross tons). She was notable as the first modern cruise ship to offer an extra-fare gourmet dining room for passengers and was part of an effort to expand and modernize Norwegian 20 years after the company’s cruises began departing. from Miami. She sailed like Offshore after that Norwegian Sea until 2005 when she was transferred to Star’s Asian operations. She continued to sail for Star until 2018 when it was announced that she was retired and converted to an accommodation ship in Wismar, Germany. It was used to house foreign workers from the MV Werften shipyard working on the construction of the Global Dream cruise ship.
The accommodation operation was however suspended in 2020 due to the pandemic. In late 2021, it was announced that Genting Hong Kong had sold the vessel for scrap and would be towed to Turkey for recycling. However, they were still awaiting permits from Germany, which was further delayed by the financial collapse of the shipyard and later Genting Hong Kong. The sale of the vessel was completed in April and she was towed out of Germany initially on April 10 and is expected to arrive in Greece in mid-May. Reports from Germany indicate that the buyer planned to use the vessel for accommodation instead of scrapping it.
Only Star is smaller Taipan, a 3,300 gross ton cruise ship, which had been used as an exclusive casino yacht was not included in recent scrapping sales. Like the larger Star cruise liners, it remains stranded in Penang.
Star’s success in Asia led to the formation of Dream Cruises by Genting and the construction of the two largest 150,000 gross ton cruise ships as well as the transfer of a third cruise ship from Star to Dream Cruises for become the Explorer’s Dream. These ships were placed under the management of V Ships upon liquidation with dream of the world decommissioned in Singapore and her sister ship Dream of Genting would currently be moved from Hong Kong also to the Singapore anchorage. Like the Crystal Cruises ships, these vessels are believed to be currently for sale as liquidators work to resolve Genting Hong Kong’s finances.