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Disney Negotiating to Buy Genting's Largest Cruise Ship Global Dream

Disney negotiates to buy cruise ship
Global Dream was 75 percent complete when work stopped (Cord Schellenberg photo)

Published Oct 11, 2022 2:24 PM by The Maritime Executive

The team overseeing the resolution of the bankruptcy of Genting Hong Kong confirmed that a court in Bermuda has ordered the liquidation of the company’s remaining assets to proceed. This comes as reports from Germany indicate that media giant Disney has emerged as the frontrunner in the negotiations to acquire the incomplete cruise ship Global Dream. Efforts are also underway for the sale of the company’s remaining cruise ships and its hotel assets.

German lawyer Christoph Morgen reports that negotiations are proceeding for the sale of the Global Dream, a 208,000 gross ton cruise ship that was 75 percent complete when MV Werften ceased operations at the beginning of 2022. The German media outlet NDR is now reporting that Disney has emerged as the frontrunner in the negotiations for the cruise ship with speculation that Disney Cruise Line might use the vessel in Asia. The cruise ship, which measures 1,122 feet in length, is designed to accommodate approximately 9,500 passengers and more than 2,000 crew. Morgen has only confirmed that they are speaking with several bidders and hope to conclude a deal shortly.

After touring the ship, Morgen told the media in January that the ship was designed for the Asian market with larger cabins to accommodate four people and connecting cabins for families. Genting’s Dream Cruises also planned the largest roller coaster at sea and other amusements as well as a large casino. By passenger capacity, the ship will be the world's largest cruise ship although its gross tonnage is smaller than Royal Caribbean International's Oasis class.

Morgen is known to favor a buyer that would complete the cruise ship in Germany and he arranged for the shipyard which has been sold to Thyssenkrupp Marine Systems (TKMS) to remain available until the end of 2023. NDK is reporting that discussions are ongoing for shipbuilder Meyer Werft to oversee the completion of the Global Dream at the shipyard in Wismar. The unions support the plan hoping that many of the 950 former employees of MV Werften, currently in the transfer company, could find work completing the cruise ship and transition to TKMS in 2024. 

At the former shipyard site in Rostock-Warnemünde, which is being converted into a naval repair base for the German Navy, work is proceeding at scrapping the blocks that had been built for the second Global Dream cruise ship. A total of approximately 17,500 tons of steel is being salvaged with the blocks cut up and sold. They expect to clear the dry dock by the end of 2022 when the Navy is due to start work at the site. The Navy has already hired over300 people from the former MV Werften.

In a separate part of the bankruptcy process, the Bermuda Court on October 7 approved the petitions for the liquidation to proceed of both Genting Hong Kong and Dream Cruises. The liquidators based in Hong Kong are working to sell the remaining cruise ships, all of which remain under arrest for the banks that financed their construction. The group also holds an equity interest in Resorts World Manila and in residential and hotel properties in the People’s Republic of China for which the liquidators are seeking buyers.

Germany’s Seaside Hotels group recently acquired the Crystal Mozart, a 394-foot long river cruise ship with accommodations for 150 passengers. They will relaunch the vessel in 2023 as the Riverside Mozart while buyers are still being sought for the four additional river cruise ships built by Crystal Cruises.

Buyers are also still being sought for Dream Cruises’ remaining two cruise ships. The World Dream is laid up in the anchorage at Singapore and the Explorer Dream is laid up in Port Klang, Malaysia. Eight additional cruise ships were sold, with four going for scrap while intellectual property and copyrights were sold to Lim Kok Thay, the billionaire investor who started the company and has restarted cruise operations with one ship, Genting Dream, and a new company called Resort World Cruises.

The court in Bermuda granted full powers to the provisional liquidators to proceed with winding up Genting Hong Kong and Dream Cruises. In Germany, Morgen’s need to complete the sale of the Global Dream having resolved the fate of the other assets of MV Werften.