Two former Star Cruises ships arrived at the shipbreakers in Alang, India, where they will be broken up as scrap metal. The arrival of the two means that the former Star Cruises cruise line has been nearly completely dismantled.
Following the bankruptcy of its parent company Genting Hong Kong, Star Cruises had no more future. Star Pisces was scrapped in July of this year, Superstar Libra in May 2022, and now the two Former Norwegian Cruise Line cruise ships Superstar Aquarius and Superstar Gemini.
The End Has Come for Star Cruises
The cruise line that once owned and operated Norwegian Cruise Line is no longer. Following the bankruptcy of parent company Genting Cruises, most Star Cruises cruise ships have now been scrapped or sold to other cruise lines. Two out of three cruise ships that were still around were beached at the Alang shipbreaking yard in India.
Superstar Aquarius and Superstar Gemini had been laid up in Sri Lanka since June of this year following the bankruptcy, while it remained unclear what would happen to the vessels. The new owners decided that the vessels were worth more as scrap metal than they would make operating with passengers.
Now the former cruise ships are at the Alang Shipbreaking Yard; workers will start slowly dismantling them, with the interior fixings, steel, and other materials being repurposed.
The 51,000 gross-tons SuperStar Aquarius and SuperStar Gemini were built for Norwegian Cruise Line by the Chantiers de l’Atlantique shipyard in St. Nazaire, France. Superstar Aquarius first sailed as Windward and later Norwegian Wind. SuperStar Gemini first sailed in 1992 as Dreamward and later operated as Norwegian Dream.
During this period, Star Cruises briefly owned Norwegian Cruise Line in partnership with U.S. investment firm Apollo Management.
Two other ships sailing for Star Cruises before the start of the pandemic had already been scrapped earlier this year. Star Pisces was scrapped in July of this year.
Superstar Libra, another former Norwegian Cruise Line ship, was beached in May this year. Her maiden voyage departed in 1988, and for nine years, she operated under the name Seaward for Norwegian Cruise Line several years before being renamed Norwegian Sea.
One ship remains of what was Star Cruises; the former Superstar Virgo, now Explorer Dream, which is anchored off the coast of Malaysia. It is still being determined what will happen to this ship.
Star Cruises and Genting Hong Kong
Up until the pandemic, Star Cruises had been reasonably successful in its new role as a cruise line offering short trips from Asian destinations such as Hong Kong, Singapore, and Taiwan. However, the cruise line became the victim of the demise of Genting Hong Kong, a downfall that started many years before.
In 2007 Star Cruises sold 50% of the shares it held in Norwegian Cruise Line to Apollo, a ship management company. In 2013, NCL was made a wholly-owned Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings subsidiary.
The remaining shares owned by Apollo and Star Cruises were sold in 2018, ending the relationship with Norwegian Cruise Line and 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 massive 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.
Crystal Cruises was sold to Abercrombie & Kent, Dream Cruises ceased to exist, with its newest cruise ship sold to Disney Cruise Line, and Genting Hong Kong made a fresh start under the name Resorts World Cruises.