Dream Cruises’ World Dream, the last remaining vessel from the defunct Genting Hong Kong operation, was sold in Singapore. Cruise Saudi has confirmed that it has bought the ship; while still at anchor in Singapore, the vessel was renamed Manara and re-registered with a new home port of Majuro, Marshall Islands.
The cruise ship was classified as sold property by the Singapore High Court on 24 February; a notification issued by the court on 3 March confirmed the transaction and said that $330 million had been paid to the court. In May 2022, the Singapore court assumed jurisdiction over the World Dream while liquidators attempted to settle the bankruptcy of Genting Hong Kong. Financial institution KfW IPEX-Bank, which financed the ship’s construction in Germany for Genting HK, seized the vessel in March 2022.
An auction held in Singapore in December had ended without a winning bid, with most onlookers suspecting that the bank was limiting low-priced proposals.
In light of its new ownership, the ship has been renamed, and the CEO of Cruise Saudi, Lars Clasen, has announced that it would soon undergo a refurbishment. He assured that the new ship’s plans would be revealed in a timely manner. The name Al Manara was also given to a high-end hotel in Aqaba, Jordan.
The 2017 Meyer Werft-built, 150,700-gross-ton World Dream was primarily based on a design created for the Norwegian Cruise Line. In 1999, Genting Hong Kong took over Norwegian as an investor, kick-starting a revival of the U.S.-cruise brand that included the construction of a fleet of ships at Meyer Werft. The Norwegian Breakaway and its sister ship, the Norwegian Getaway, were both launched by Norwegian in 2013. In 2016, Genting Hong Kong launched its new Dream Cruises brand in Asia with two almost similar ships, the Genting Dream and the World Dream.
With the financial collapse of Genting Hong Kong in early 2022, the cruise line temporarily ceased operations. The World Dream is now being maintained in the Singapore harbour after being put into a warm lay-up. According to a court-mandated survey conducted the same year in October, she was in tip-top shape and ready to return to work.
Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund is a major investor in Cruise Saudi, which was established to grow and develop the country’s cruise and tourist sectors. According to Clasen, the company’s acquisition of the cruise ship is in line with its strategic goals and objectives. Cruise Saudi recently revealed plans to build a yacht cruise ship in Italy in partnership with the premium hotel and resort operator Aman Group. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia plans to open five cruise ports and attract more than a million cruise tourists by 2028.
The creator of Genting, the Malaysian tycoon Tan Sri KT Lim, has been widely speculated to be the most likely buyer of the World Dream. Lim launched Resorts World Cruises in June 2022. While Genting HK sold Dream Cruises’ sister ship, the Genting Dream, to a consortium of Chinese banks, the new cruise company acquired the vessel and is using her for charters. Nevertheless, Resorts World Cruises has a second ship now that has chartered the former Dream Cruises ship Explorer Dream.
Ships from Star Cruises’ sister company have also been sold for scrap, leaving just the World Dream for sale. A charity will run the smaller ship. The ocean liners and the Crystal Cruises brand were purchased by new investors, while a German start-up purchased the river liners. Global Dream, a brand-new vessel, has been sold to Disney Cruise Line for introduction in 2025, while the blocks intended for Global Dream II have been sold for scrap.