Once destined to be one of the two largest cruise ships in the world, the second new build of the Global-class, the 9,000-passenger cruise ships for Dream Cruises, will be sold as scrap.
Although only the lower hull has been assembled so far, much of the machinery and equipment was already on-site at the dock of the Warnemünde shipyard of MV Werften, in Germany.
This is a sad end to what once caused quite the stir in the cruise industry. As the vessel had been planned for Asia in particular, the vessel’s design does not comply with the strict rules and regulations in Europe.
To retrofit the ship, even when only partially built, would mean a costly re-design, something no company has been interested in performing or paying for.
The Largest Passenger Capacity Class
By passenger occupancy and crew numbers, the Global class of cruise ships was destined to be the largest ever to set sail. Up to 9,500 guests and 2,200 crew members meant a total of 11,700 people onboard at maximum capacity.
These numbers would have far exceeded the Oasis-class of ships from Royal Caribbean International, currently the largest cruise ships in the world.
However, at least one of the two ships will never set sail. The second Global-class cruise ship, which had its hull set down in 2019, will be sold as scrap metal. This follows the demise of parent companies Genting Hong Kong and Dream Cruises, both of which filed for bankruptcy earlier this year.
Administrator Christoph Morgen announced at a recent press conference that proceedings are now underway to resell some of the equipment and engines.
The half-finished hull will then be disposed of at scrap price.
With scrap prices at an all-time high, scrapping the iconic design was the only choice for the shipyard’s administrator. Because the Global-class had been designed to sail in Asia only, it lacked compliance with the strict rules and regulations and environmental compliance in Europe.
Repurposing the vessel to comply with U.S. or European laws would have been extremely costly. Strangely enough, the nearly finished Global Dream could be facing the same fate.
Will Global Dream Find a New Home?
With one (partial) ship going to the scrapyard, what will happen to the almost completed Global Dream is anyone’s guess. Global Dream is already floating and would have been sailing with guests by now if it wasn’t for Genting’s bankruptcy.
The ship had been scheduled to debut in early 2021, but was delayed a year due to the pandemic shutdown, which also caused construction delays.
Multiple parties in the cruise industry and elsewhere have expressed interest in the mega cruise ship. The only genuine interest, however, came from family-owned Stena AB from Sweden, which has interests in shipping, real estate, finance, and more. Stena AB wanted to build a cruise product with the three other Genting ships in Asia.
However, Stena AB withdrew their consideration in late May when former Genting owner Lim Kok Thay announced a new cruise brand in Singapore, while China announced no end to its strict travel restrictions.
The ongoing travel restrictions, in particular, have made any financially-reliable cruising unthinkable in large parts of Asia for the time being.
This is being echoed throughout the cruise industry, as different cruise lines have canceled their Asian seasons and planned to reposition ships to less restricted markets. Norwegian Cruise Line, Windstar Cruises, Princess Cruises, Holland America Line, Celebrity Cruises, and more have canceled Asia sailings throughout 2022.
Any parties interested in Global Dream will need to go through the process of buying a ship that is only suitable for Asia and thus either wait for the continent to open up for cruising or redesign the entire vessel.
Such a redesign would include the cabins, decks, and propulsion, as well as other features to comply with port regulations, environmental codes, safety features, and more.
If no serious buyer comes forward, Global Dream will go through a bidding process, with the ship eventually selling to the highest bidder. This will include buyers from shipbreaking yards.
With scrap metal prices at all-time-high levels, it is not unthinkable that Global Dream will end up like her unnamed sister without ever sailing a single nautical mile, and instead the hull would be broken apart to be repurposed or melted down for other projects.
The sale of Genting’s assets has been hitting full speed in recent weeks. This week it became clear that Silversea Cruises had purchased Crystal Endeavour, and additional assets are sure to find new buyers in the months to come as the cruise industry and travel overall continues to rebound.