I took a cruise once with my family when I was in college. Endless mocktails, corny game nights, all-you-can-eat shrimp, and the baked Alaska parade won my heart. Later, what seemed like a constant stream of news about fires on board, norovirus outbreaks, and overflowing toilets with passengers stuck at sea gave me pause, and I haven’t been back. I must be in the minority, though, because after a crushing stoppage for the pandemic between 2020 and 2021, the cruise industry is thriving once again. The Washington Post even reported that some cruise lines have reported record-breaking bookings this year.
Unfortunately, one cruise operator went a wee bit–er–overboard and ordered a giant 9,000-passenger ship that was set to take its maiden voyage early last year. And then it went bankrupt. Now, the Global Dream II will be ripped apart, its fixtures and engines sold and the rest scrapped.
MV Werften, Genting Hong Kong Limited’s shipbuilding operation, filed for provisional liquidation on January 18, 2022, putting an end to its vision of sailing the world's largest passenger ship. According to the Daily Star UK, two vessels had been built (Global Dream and Global Dream II) and the first was to leave the dock in 2021.
When demand cooled rapidly with no end in sight and the company filed for bankruptcy, the shipyard was sold to ThyssenKrupp's Marine System. Starting in 2024, the company plans to build submarines, frigates, and corvettes (in this case, a small warship designed for convoy escort duty, not a car) and has no place for cruise ships. In fact, the Global Dream is not quite finished, and MV Werften is running out of time to complete and sell the sister ship before ThyssenKrupp takes over.
From the photos, it looked as though the Global Dream II was to be a magnificent boat complete with 20 decks, a water park, a gigantic movie theater, and enough staterooms for 9,000. Painted in colorful artwork from bow to stern, it might have been a great floating vacation spot for those who don't mind being that close to thousands of people for an extended period of time. Soon, however, it will be recycled; perhaps it will be reborn as something else with a chance at success.
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