Thursday 07 Dec 2023
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KUALA LUMPUR (Oct 8): Disney Cruise Line is said to be buying the 9,000-passenger Global Dream cruise ship built by Genting Hong Kong Ltd (Genting HK) from Germany-based shipbuilder MV Werften’s insolvency administrator under the planned restructuring of Genting HK, which is facing severe financial difficulties following global movement restrictions due to the Covid-19 pandemic, which began in early 2020, according to news reports on Friday (Oct 7), quoting German news outlet NDR, a respected and well-known broadcaster in Germany.

Cruise Hive reported that the news was announced by insolvency administrator Christoph Morgen, who did not specify the transaction price for Global Dream.

"Global Dream would be completed at the MV Werften, where the ship could be under the direction of Meyer Werft in Papenburg, where Disney Cruise Line already has another ship on order.

"The 9,000-passenger cruise ship, by far the largest cruise ship to ever be constructed by passenger volume, has sat untouched in the shipyard in Germany since January of this year,” Cruise Hive reported.

It was reported that as the 208,000 gross tonne Global Dream, which involves an initial construction cost of 1.6 billion euros (about RM7.3 billion), was intended for the Asian market and specifically built to sail in Asia, the likelihood of an American or European cruise company coming forward and purchasing the ship seemed slim at best.

"However, in an astonishing move, it seems that Disney Cruise Line could be willing to put up the money for the vessel and complete the construction. NDR, a respected and well-known broadcaster in Germany, broke the news yesterday (Thursday, Oct 6).

"Global Dream had an initial construction price tag of 1.6 billion euros. However, it is unlikely that Disney Cruise Line would be paying that amount for the vessel. The amount is expected to be just a fraction of the initial cost. 

"While Morgen has confirmed the purchase by Disney Cruise Line, neither the cruise line nor local Economic Minister Reinhard Meyer have made concrete comments on the news. When asked, the minister spoke merely of confidential discussions with Disney Cruise Line.

"Workers will complete the vessel at the Wismar-based MV Werften, where construction has been ongoing for several years now,” Cruise Hive reported.

It was reported that the news is positive for the 950 employees of the former Genting HK-owned shipyard MV Werften, where the vessel was being constructed, and who now would be able to go back to work in the construction yard. 

It was reported that the news also means that rumours that Global Dream will be sold as scrap metal can possibly be put to rest.

"Global Dream, which was scheduled to commence sailing this year (2022), is only 75% completed,” Cruise Hive reported.

Genting HK is facing severe financial difficulties after global movement restrictions due to the Covid-19 outbreak, which began in early 2020, disrupted the company's cruise operations, according to Genting HK.

"As previously announced, the group (Genting HK and its subsidiaries) is facing severe financial difficulties. These financial difficulties led to the presentation of a winding-up petition by the company (Genting HK) and the appointment of the joint provisional liquidators (JPLs).

"The primary duty of the JPLs is to maximise value and returns of creditors of the company," Genting HK said in a June 7, 2022 filing with The Stock Exchange of Hong Kong Ltd.

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