May 19 ------ Saying that the provisional liquidators could not revive their former brand, the investors and management of Genting Hong Kong’s Dream Cruises confirmed that they will restart operations next month as Resorts World Cruises. At a press event in Singapore on May 18, they officially launched the new brand leveraging the operations of another company owned by Malaysian businessman Tan Sri KT Lim, who becomes executive chairman of the new operation.
Lim had previously been executive chairman of Genting Hong Kong and Dream Cruises before the firms’ financial collapse at the beginning of 2022 after the bankruptcy of their shipyard operation in Germany, MV Werften. They had appealed to keep Dream Cruises operating and it had been speculated that they might attempt to buy the brand and its ships during the liquidation of Genting Hong Kong. Unable to restart Dream Cruises, the management team reached a deal with the Chinese banks that owned one of Dream Cruises’ ships and announced they will restart cruise operations on June 15 from Singapore. “We started our cruise operations 30 years ago in Singapore and we are excited to again launch the first Resorts World Cruises in Singapore,” said Tan Sri KT Lim, Executive Chairman of Resorts World Cruises. “Resorts World Cruises will have its headquarters in Singapore and is committed to making Singapore the leading cruise hub in Asia. We also appreciate the support and trust of the Chinese leasing banks in allowing Resorts World Cruises to charter the Genting Dream.”
The 150,695 gross ton cruise ship was built by Meyer Werft and entered service in 2016 as part of Genting Hong Kong’s efforts to build a new Asian cruise brand beyond Star Cruises, which they had used to start Asian cruising in the 1990s. The effort to revive the operation was in part made possible because Genting Hong Kong had sold the cruise ship in 2020 to a consortium of Chinese banks and was leasing the ship. Dream Cruises' other two cruise ships, as well as the unfinished Global Dream, remain caught in the liquidation of the former operations.
In announcing the new cruise brand, they said the goal is to position it as the leading brand in the region as an extension of the well-known global Resorts World brand. Resorts, owned by another Lim company, operates 46 casino resorts in eight countries. The cruise line will cater to a wide Asian demographic, highlighting that it will be the only halal-friendly cruise ship in the Asia-Pacific region. Also, with most of the cruise industry in Asia remaining on pause, Resorts says Genting Dream, which will continue to operate under its former name, offers the highest crew to passenger ratio in the region. The only other major cruise line to resume Singapore-based cruises is Royal Caribbean International. Genting Dream for the first four months will be operating two and three-night cruises to nowhere from Singapore. Starting at the end of September, they plan to add a five-night cruise and also begin reintroducing port calls in Malaysia, Thailand, and Indonesia.
While insisting that the new company is separate from their former operation, Resorts World Cruises is nonetheless offering “complimentary cruise credits of equivalent value,” for paid passengers who have not received refunds for cruises on the World Dream, which the former company was operating from Singapore.
Former Dream Cruises’ President Michael Goh will have the same role at the new company with Colin Au, formerly Deputy CEO of Genting Hong Kong becoming CEO of Resort World Cruises. Reports in the Asia media said that much of the crew and shoreside personnel are also being rehired from the former operation. During the presentation, Goh told the media that negotiations were underway with other companies and that they would be providing further details on the new cruise operations in the coming weeks.