Asia-based Dream Cruises has seen some rough times of late. The company was ordered to suspend operation earlier this month, which led to canceling cruises through January 19, 2022. As COVID-19 cases continue to rise, the cruise line has been forced to cancel even more cruises through February 2.
The cruise line, which did not have any reported cases onboard its ships, says the cancellations come out of an abundance of caution from the Hong Kong government. Nonetheless, it could not come at a worse time for the owner of Dream Cruises. Genting, Asia’s biggest cruise company, faces serious financial issues both in Asia and at its subsidiary shipyard MV Werften in Germany.
The Government of Hong Kong has ordered the cruise ship Genting Dream to cancel more cruises after the vessel’s cruises in January had already been cancelled through January 19. The ship, sailing short 2- and 3-day seacation cruises out of Hong Kong, will be sitting idle until February 2, at least.
Further departures that have now been cancelled include the sailings on January 21, 23, 26, 28, 30, and February 2, 2022. In a statement on the company’s Facebook page, it says the following:
“In accordance with the latest social-distancing measures as stipulated by the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, Dream Cruises has unfortunately had to cancel Genting Dream’s Super Seacation departures. Dream Cruises would like to reiterate that this cancellation is due to the government’s directive and NOT as a result of any COVID-19 related incidents on board the ship.”
As the situation in the Asian city-state remains fluid, Dream Cruises says it will now be monitoring the situation closely and stay in communication with the local government on when cruises might be resuming. It has set a tentative resumption date of February 4, 2022.
Dream Cruises Options for Cancelled Cruises
The company set up various options for guests to transfer their voyage, receive a future cruise credit, or a full refund.
Guests that transfer their original booking to a cruise departing from Hong Kong between February 4 until April 27, 2022, will receive an onboard credit of HK$300 for a two-night cruise and HK$500 for a 3-night cruise. The offer is also open for guests who do not want to choose right now. In that case, guests receive a Future Cruise Credit.
Guests can also cash in all monies paid for a full refund. The cruise line will refund any cabin fares, port charges, and pre-paid gratuities.
Genting’s Financial Situation Troublesome
Additional problems with cancelled cruises come when the owner of Dream cruises, Genting, looks at increased financial difficulties. The company, owned by Malaysian billionaire Lim Kok Thay, operates Dream Cruises, Star Cruises, and ultra-luxury cruise line Crystal Cruises.
Through various financial constructions, Genting also owns and operates the German shipyard MV Werften which filed for bankruptcy this week. This is the shipyard where Global Dream, one of the largest cruise ships in the world with space for 9,500 guests, is under construction.
The company’s shares have already been blocked from trading since early January. The future looks bleak, as Genting said in a press release: “there is no guarantee that the group will be able to meet its financial obligations under its financing arrangements as and when they fall due,” Genting Hong Kong said in a statement on Thursday.
The financial problems came to be after German export credit insurance agency Euler Hermes refused to approve insurance coverage for funding, citing ‘persistent and sustained reduction in business activities as a result of Covid-19.’
The impact of the pandemic is hitting hard for Hong Kong-based Genting; losses amounted to $743 million in the first half of 2021 from $238 million the previous year. For now, it looks unlikely cruises will be able to resume in Hong Kong. This is especially true considering the harsh measures the Chinese government is enforcing in mainland China, which are also being felt in Hong Kong.