Former Norwegian Cruise Line Ship Is Beached for Scrapping in Turkey

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Thirty-four years since she first set sail, the former Norwegian Cruise Line ship Seaward reached her final destination. The vessel was beached at the Aliaga shipbreaking yard in Turkey yesterday, June 1, where she will be broken up for scrap metal. 

Seaward left the NCL fleet in 2005 and has since been in possession of Star Cruises, part of Genting Hong Kong, which filed for insolvency earlier this year. 

Norwegian Seaward Beached In Turkey

The former Norwegian Cruise Line cruise ship Norwegian Seaward has been beached at the Turkish shipbreaking yard in Aliaga on June 1. The beaching is a direct result of the bankruptcy of Genting Hong Kong. 

Her maiden voyage departed in 1988, and for nine years she operated under the name Seaward for Norwegian Cruise Line. In 1997, the cruise line renamed her to NorwegianSea.

The cruise ship sailed for Norwegian Cruise Line for seventeen years until she was sold to Asian cruise operator Star Cruises in 2005 and renamed Superstar Libra.

Superstar Libra Cruise Ship
Photo Credit: ThamKC / Shutterstock

As Superstar Libra, the 42,275 gross tons cruise ship sailed a variety of cruises around Asia, primarily short cruises from Penang, Malaysia, to ports in Thailand. And while certainly not the newest or most glamorous cruise ship in the region, SuperStar Libra did have many fans. 

However, in 2018 Star Cruises pulled Superstar Libra from active service. Since then, she has acted as an accommodation ship for workers at the MV Werften shipyard in Germany. Under a three-year lease, the ship supported the construction of Genting’s Dream Cruises and Crystal Cruises’ new cruise ships. 

Under the bankruptcy of parent company Genting Hong Kong, Superstar Libra was sold to a greek company and towed to Greece from Germany just weeks ago.

Although she was due to be used as housing in Greece, the company that purchased her ultimately sold it for scrap metal.

In the coming months, workers at the shipyard will slowly start dismantling the vessel and selling the parts, a business model that has become increasingly lucrative in recent years

Three Star Cruises Ships Head For Scrapyard

Of the Star Cruises cruise ships, it’s not just Superstar Libra that will be scrapped. According to several reports, four of the ships previously owned by Star Cruises have been sold, with three heading to the shipbreakers. Star Pisces, SuperStar Aquarius, and SuperStar Gemini are currently laid up in Penang, Malaysia.

Genting Cruise LInes
Photo Credit: T. Schneider / Shutterstock

Star Pisces first operated as a RoRo passenger ferry in the Baltic. She was bought by Malaysian Chinese businessman Tan Sri Lim Kok Thay as he first started building up his cruise emporium. 

Sister ships SuperStar Aquarius and SuperStar Gemini were built for Norwegian Cruise Line as Dreamward and Windward, and later as Norwegian Dream and Norwegian Wind. During this period, Star Cruises briefly owned Norwegian Cruise Line in partnership with U.S. investment firm Apollo Management.

In 2007 Star Cruises sold 50% of its shares of NCL to Apollo; in 2013, NCL was made a wholly-owned subsidiary of Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings. The remaining shares owned by Apollo and Star Cruises were sold in 2018, ending the relationship with Norwegian Cruise Line, and in effect, signaling the end of Star Cruises. 

Star Cruises’ success, now under Genting Hong Kong, led to Dream Cruises being formed and the acquisition of Crystal Cruises. Although the company saw huge growth in the first couple of years, the pandemic changed all that and ultimately led to the downfall of Genting Hong Kong and Star Cruises. 

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