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Resorts World Cruises gets a second ship, for Hong Kong restart

Resorts World One is the former Explorer Dream which last operated for Dream Cruises in Taiwan
Resorts World Cruises will be chartering Explorer Dream to operate short cruises to nowhere from Hong Kong starting in March.

The ship, which most recently operated from Taiwan for Dream Cruises before Genting Hong Kong's collapse, will be renamed Resorts World One.

It will sail two- and three-night cruises from Hong Kong on a Friday, Sunday and Wednesday rotation, starting March 10.

Buyer unknown

Sources recently told Seatrade Cruise News Explorer Dream was committed to a new owner. One said the asking price was 'slightly less than $50 million, which is quite high for a ship like that in this environment,' and another said: 'We believe the asking price has dropped to the $40 million-plus level.'

The buyer's identity is unknown.

Before moving to Dream Cruises in 2019, the former SuperStar Virgo underwent a $30m upgrade. Built in 1999, the 75,338gt ship can accommodate 1,856 passengers.

Resorts World Cruises has been sailing from Singapore and Port Klang since last June and July, respectively, with Genting Dream, which it charters from a consortium of banks that acquired the ship in 2020.

Replaces Genting Dream for two-week stint

Resorts World One will replace Genting Dream on its two- and three-night sailngs from Feb. 17 to March 1 as Genting Dream goes into drydock for routine maintenance.

Resorts World One is then scheduled to reposition to Hong Kong via a six-night cruise from Port Klang on March 2 or a five-night cruise from Singapore on March 3, both calling at Ho Chi Minh City and Da Nang.  

First homeporting ship in Hong Kong since January 2022

Resorts World Cruises expects to become the first cruise ship to homeport in Hong Kong since Jan. 5, 2022 when officals imposed widespread measures to stem the Omicron variant. Before that, cruises to nowhere carrying only local residents had operated for half a year, starting July 2021 with Dream Cruises and, subsequently, Royal Caribbean International.

'We are pleased that Resorts World Cruises will have the first cruise ship to homeport in Hong Kong after the resumption of normal travel with the mainland and overseas. We hope to support the growth of the Hong Kong tourism as we had done for both Singapore and Malaysia,' said Tan Sri Lim Kok Thay, chairman of Resorts World Cruises.

Greatly reduced restrictions

Hong Kong's restrictions on cruises have been greatly reduced, according to Jeff Bent, managing director, Worldwide Cruise Terminals, which operates the Kai Tak Cruise Terminal. The remaining restrictions include vaccination for passengers 12 and older, a pre-arrival rapid antigen test and masking when onshore. Former restrictions on occupancy, facilities use onboard and the potential suspension of sailings in response to outbreaks have been dropped.

Bent said the first passenger-bearing ship to arrive since the January 2022 shutdown and the first ship carrying international passengers since the onset of the pandemic will be Silver Spirit, Jan. 18 at Ocean Terminal.