Genting Hong Kong’s fleet of ships will soon be heading for the auction. And if you had a cool few hundred million dollars in the bank, you could be the owner of the 200 berth Crystal Endeavor.
Genting’s ships from luxury line Crystal Cruises, the premium Asian brand Dream Cruises, and the family company Star Cruises will be sold soon as part of the liquidation process.
Auctions are required as part of the process to clear any maritime liens (necessities like fuel, crew, wages, supplies, etc) with priority that rank before mortgages according to Seatrade Cruise News. Upon sale at auction, the ships would be purchased free and clear of any liens.
According to a maritime attorney that spoke to Seatrade Cruise News, if there are no adequate bids, the mortgage holder could take a ship in exchange for their lien and try to sell it on their own for money that the auction would have fetched.
It seems like the fleet from Crystal Cruises has garnered the most interest with some parties looking at the individual assets and some in the company as a whole.
One interested party is Manfredi Lefebvre d’Ovidio’s Heritage Group. As the previous owner of Silversea Cruises, he confirmed to Seatrade Cruise News: “Heritage maintains a strong interest and we hope to be successful in acquiring the Crystal ocean fleet and brand.”
But Mr Manfredi may have competition, with reports saying there is substantial interest in the 200-berth Crystal Endeavour. She has been deemed as the most expensive expedition ship every built at US$1.9 million per berth. The cost of her build was revealed at €350m. But experts believe she will probable sell for less than the cost price – even as little as half. So if you had $258 million, the Crystal Endeavour could be yours.
But the expedition ship could go for a higher price in a no-cash deal if the mortgage holder provides financing to a buyer.
The balance of the fleet consists of Crystal Symphony (1995) and Crystal Serenity (2003), and five river vessels: four relatively new sisters and the updated double-width Crystal Mozart.
Now, when it comes to the Asian premium cruise line Dream Cruises, the fleet consists of the World Dream, Genting Dream, and the Explorer Dream.
Sources say the Explorer Dream will be sold at auction for further trading. But the Genting Dream which operated under a leaseback deal after being sold to a consortium of Chinese banks in early 2020, won’t have to go to auction. The consortium could try and find another leasee or buyer. It is unclear what will happen to the World Dream, the youngest ship in the fleet.
But the question looms over Genting’s unfinished megaliner Global Dream which has lured plenty of potential buyers including billionaire ex-Genting boss Lim Kok Thay.
Global Dream was set to the become the world’s largest ship with the capacity to carry 10,000 passengers. But she sits currently unfinished in a German shipyard.
Insolvency administator Dr Christoph Morgen told Bloomberg that while there has been no confirmed price tag for the ship’s sale, he did reveal he’s looking for “completion costs plus a little on top”.
Dr Morgen said Mr Lim was among those who expressed early interest in the sale, and believed he was looking to purchase the ship cheaply and take the build elsewhere.
Mr Lim had written a letter to creditors in December, putting the ship at approximately 75 per cent complete with the billionaire blaming the German government for declining to finance US$620 million to finish the build and keep the shipyard in business.
The ship reportedly cost US$1.8 billion to build and was heavily financed up to US$1.4 billion.
According to sources, there is a chance Star Pisces, SuperStar Gemini and SuperStar Aquarius which were built in the 90s, would go for demolition/recycling since demolition prices were at an all-time high during the pandemic.