Who’s Who Part V: Genting Hong Kong

With all of the different brands of cruise lines out there, I thought it might be appropriate to break down the lines and help you understand who the parent companies are and what their sub-brands are best known for. This Weekly Wednesday article will dig up some minor brands which you may not have ever heard before. All of the information is current as the of the time this article was published.

This post will be released in smaller parts over the next several weeks. Links will be activated once the subsequent entries have been posted.

(Part ICarnival Corporation & plc – AIDA CruisesCarnival Cruise LineCarnival CSSCCosta CruisesCunard LineHolland America LineP&O CruisesP&O Cruises AustraliaPrincess CruisesSeabourn Cruise Line

(Part IIRoyal Caribbean Group – AzamaraCelebrity CruisesRoyal Caribbean InternationalSilversea Cruises

(Part IIITUI Group – Hapag-Lloyd CruisesMarella CruisesTUI Cruises

(Part IVNorwegian Cruise Line Holdings – Norwegian Cruise LineOceania CruisesRegent Seven Seas Cruises

(Current Article) Genting Hong KongCrystal Cruises, Dream Cruises, Star Cruises

(Part VIOther Cruise Lines – Bahamas Paradise Cruise LineDisney Cruise lineFred. Olsen Cruise LinesMSC CruisesSaga CruisesVikingVirgin Voyages

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Genting Hong Kong

Originally formed as a subsidiary of Genting Group, this new division was created in 1993 with the launch of Star Cruises. In 2000, Star Cruises purchased Norwegian Cruise Line and ended up selling half of the company to Apollo Management in 2007. Ownership was reduced to 28% in 2013 following an IPO of Norwegian Cruise Line and their shares were shifted to the newly formed Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings.

By 2015, Genting had purchased the luxury cruise line Crystal Cruises, along with a Singaporean nightclub, Zouk, and a majority stake in the German shipyard, Lloyd Werft. Later that same year, Genting Hong Kong introduced a new luxury cruise brand in Asia called Dream Cruises. 2016 saw the remaining 30% of Lloyd Werft shipyard purchased along with several other shipyards in that region to create Lloyd Werft Group. Continuing the theme of purchasing shipyards in 2016, three ex-Nordic Yards were spun out to form MV Werften. Later that same year, the Genting Hong Kong company was entirely sold to Genting Group’s family-owned trust who then restructured the company, separating Genting Hong Kong from Genting Group. By 2018, Genting Hong Kong had sold off their remaining shares in Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings.

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Crystal Cruises

In 1988, Crystal Cruises was formed by Nippon Yusen Kaisha (NYK), a Japanese shipping company, with their first ship, Crystal Harmony ready to set sail in 1989. Over the next couple of decades, the company introduced two more ships, Crystal Symphony and Crystal Serenity. By 2015, NYK announced that they would be selling Crystal Cruises to Genting Hong Kong. In 2016, Crystal Cruises (now under Genting Hong Kong) purchased the SS United States with plans to make her seaworthy again, however the plan was dropped later that same year due to technical challenges. They covered the docking costs through the end of that year. Crystal Cruises has three sub-brands that they operate: Crystal Yacht Cruises, Crystal River Cruises, and Crystal Luxury Air/Crystal AirCruises.

Crystal Yacht Cruises launched in late 2015 with Crystal Esprit, the ship is capable of carrying 62 guests at a time. There are four 10-passenger zodiacs for excursions, a 12-passenger yacht tender for boating adventures, a two-passenger submarine, water skis, wake boards, kayaks, jet skis, fishing, scuba, and snorkel equipment onboard. Plans are in the works for a second ship with a capacity of 200 guests (originally set to launch in 2020, but now 2021) and a third ship in 2022.

Crystal River Cruises was introduced in 2016 with a refurbished vessel. There are a total of 4 ships that sail under this brand, each with a guest capacity of 106 people and all sailing rivers throughout Europe.

Crystal Luxury Air/Crystal AirCruises is a private jet service which was launched in 2015 with a Bombardier Global Express jet, capable to carrying 12 guests. In 2017, they launched Crystal Skye onboard a Boeing 777 with 88 first class flat-bed seats, a lounge/dining room that seats 24 and a full bar. A third aircraft was purchased in 2017, a Boeing 787 Dreamliner, however that aircraft is currently in storage.

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Dream Cruises

Introduced in 2015 by Genting Hong Kong, Dream Cruises was built as an Asian luxury cruise line. The first ship that sailed for Dream Cruises was a purpose-built ship for sister-brand Star Cruises. It was originally to be named Genting World and in 2016, the decision was made to transfer her to Dream Cruises with the new name Genting Dream. The second ship to join the fleet was the World Dream in 2017, which was also originally ordered for Star Cruises. Genting Dream and World Dream are very similar in size to Norwegian Cruise Lines’ Breakaway Class. The Breakaway Class is slightly smaller and was in the designing stage when Norwegian was still owned by Genting Hong Kong. The newest ship to join the Dream Cruises fleet is Explorer Dream, which was built in 1999 as SuperStar Virgo for Star Cruises. The ship transferred over to Dream Cruises in 2017 and underwent a $65 million refit before sailing the Australia market. Currently, there are two more ships on order for Dream Cruises, with the first expected to launch in 2021 as Global Dream. The following year a yet-unnamed ship will launch.

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Star Cruises

Founded in 1993, Star Cruises was incorporated in Bermuda with its corporate headquarters in Hong Kong. They launched service with two cruiseferries they acquired from a bankrupted estate. It wasn’t until 1998 that Star Cruises took delivery of their first new build, SuperStar Leo and the next year, SuperStar Virgo. In 1999, they also acquired Sun Cruises. The following year, Star Cruises acquired Norwegian Cruise Line and its subsidiaries, Orient Lines and Norwegian Capricorn Line, becoming the largest global cruise line in the world. There were several ships that Star Cruises had commissioned to be built, however following the merger of the companies, they decided to shift those fleet to Norwegian. SuperStar Leo was transferred to Norwegian in 2004 and renamed Norwegian Spirit and it was rushed into service under the NCL America brand due to an accident at the shipbuilding yard on Pride of America. Since 2006, it became common practice for newly built ships to go to the Norwegian brand and then NCL’s older ships would be transferred into service to Star Cruises. By 2007, Star Cruises sold 50% of NCL to Apollo Management group. They sold the remaining shares in 2013 which was also when they started construction of Genting World, which would later be transferred to Dream Cruises. As of this writing, Star Cruises has 4 current ships in fleet with 16 ships that have at one point either sailed or were ordered but transferred to another line prior to entering service.

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So many brands!

We hope you enjoyed Part V of the Who’s Who series and that you learned something new. Be sure to come back next week for the final part of our journey when we will discuss the remaining independently ran cruise brands.

2 thoughts on “Who’s Who Part V: Genting Hong Kong”

  1. Pingback: Who's Who Part I
  2. Pingback: Who's Who Part II

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