Genting Group patriarch Lim Kok Thay has wasted no time in resurrecting his cruise ship ambitions following confirmation that his new cruise brand, Resorts World Cruises Pte, will begin sailings from 15 June.
In a development sure to pique the interest of investors and creditors in Lim’s former cruise ship firm Genting Hong Kong – which filed a winding up petition earlier this year after failing to secure funding needed to meet its financial obligations – Resorts World Cruises will set sail from Singapore via Genting Dream, a ship previously owned and operated by Genting Hong Kong subsidiary Dream Cruises. It is also in negotiations to acquire the other two ships previously operated by Dream Cruises, World Dream and Explore Dream.
The new venture is being helmed by former Dream Cruises President Michael Goh, who fronted a press conference in Singapore on Wednesday to declare that any passengers who have been unable to secure refunds on cancelled World Dream bookings would be offered equal credit with the new cruise line. Goh has been named President & Head of International Sales of Resorts World Cruises.
Despite the crossover, Resorts World Cruises CEO and Executive Director Colin Au – also a former Deputy CEO of Genting Hong Kong – moved to distance the two companies from one another.
“The provisional liquidator could not revive the [Dream Cruises] brand so we worked with the Chinese lessors who are the owners of the ship and decided to restart the cruise under the Resorts World brand,” he said.
“This new brand has got nothing to do with Genting Hong Kong, it’s a new cruise brand,” he added.
In a press release issued Wednesday, the new entity – which also put its new website live for the first time – said it would be a “game changer” for the industry.
“We started our cruise operations 30 years ago in Singapore and we are excited to again launch the first Resorts World Cruises in Singapore, the first country to re-open cruising in the region,” said Lim, named as the company’s Executive Chairman. “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.”
As previously reported by IAG, the Resorts World Cruises brand was incorporated on 9 March with an entity called Two Trees Family Holdings listed as its shareholder. Two Trees, itself incorporated in March 2021, lists Lim, his son Lim Keong Hui and Gerard Lim Ewe Keng as directors.
Lim, who personally owns 75% of Genting Hong Kong, stepped down as the company’s Chairman and CEO in late January, however Bloomberg reported in mid-February that Lim was one of several investors to have expressed interest in purchasing Global Dream – an unfinished cruise ship currently sitting dormant at Genting Hong Kong’s bankrupt shipbuilding yard in Germany.
Measuring 342 meters in length, Global Dream had promised to be the world’s largest cruise liner by passenger capacity before construction ground to a halt in January when the shipyards filed for insolvency.
Provisional liquidators were appointed to Genting Hong Kong due to debts totalling almost US$2.8 billion. The company had only last year finalized a series of agreements with those creditors for the granting new loans and extensions to maturities, however it defaulted in January when unable to access US$88 million in funding from the German government.