A casino cruise brand reportedly controlled by Malaysian entrepreneur Lim Kok Thay is to launch services from Singapore fewer than five months after the Lim family-founded Dream Cruises brand of the Genting Hong Kong Ltd casino cruise group entered provisional liquidation.
Genting Hong Kong’s stock has been suspended from the Hong Kong bourse since January 18, and its affairs are also currently in the hands of joint provisional liquidators.
The new entity – Resorts World Cruises – will operate a vessel called Genting Dream, which will run a Resorts World Casino on board. It will start services on June 15, with a two-night round-trip on the high seas, via Singapore, according to the website of Resorts World Cruises.
A schedule of services indicated that between June and April next year, Genting Dream would operate casino cruises to destinations in Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia.
A company called Resorts World Cruises Pte Ltd has been registered in Singapore, show data from the city-state’s Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority, reviewed by GGRAsia.
According to a statement attributed to Mr Lim, quoted by Singapore’s Straits Times newspaper on Wednesday, the Genting Dream vessel mentioned is the same one that was used by the now non-operational Dream Cruises (pictured in a file photo).
The businessman was cited saying “we… appreciate the support and trust of the Chinese leasing banks in allowing Resorts World Cruises to charter the Genting Dream”.
According to Bloomberg, citing shipping industry trade publication TradeWinds, the Dream Cruises vessels are the most modern of the Genting group’s casino cruise ships. Genting Dream, built in 2016, is leased from a consortium of Chinese banks, and has been previoulsy laid up in Hong Kong, reported Bloomberg.
The business news outlet added – attributing the information to TradeWinds – that World Dream, built in 2017, had been “under arrest” in Singapore, and Explorer Dream, built in 1999, had been ‘laid up” off Port Klang in Malaysia.
News outlet CNA reported that Resorts World Cruises was in negotiations with banks and interested parties to acquire World Dream and Explorer Dream.
GGRAsia has emailed representatives in Bermuda and Hong Kong from joint provisional liquidators appointed for Dream Cruises, asking further details about the use of Genting Dream by Resorts World Cruises. We had not received replies by the time this story went online.
News outlet CNA quoted comments from Resorts World Cruises’ chief executive and executive director Colin Au during a news conference on Wednesday, stating that Resorts World Cruises was separate from Genting Hong Kong.
“The provisional liquidator could not revive the [Dream Cruises] brand and 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,” Mr Au – a former executive of Genting Hong Kong – was quoted as saying.
Mr Au also confirmed that Mr Lim was a shareholder in the new company. According to CNA, he holds the position of executive chairman of Resorts World Cruises.
“Resorts World” is the branding used by Genting’s land-based casino resorts around the world, including its gaming and leisure complex at Sentosa in Singapore.
CNA reported, citing comments from a spokesperson for Resorts World Cruises, that the firm was “rehiring” about 1,600 former crew members from Genting Dream for its new cruise operation.
The Straits Times reported – citing comments from Michael Goh, president and head of international sales for Resorts World Cruises – that about 70 of circa 100 former employees from the sales and marketing, and hotel operations of Genting Hong Kong would be working for the new cruise business.
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