Genting Hong Kong fast-tracks cruise expansion with shipyard acquisitions.

Company buys three German yards to produce ships for its Star, Dream and Crystal Cruises brands.

Genting Hong Kong, which is launching multiple new cruise ventures in the coming years, has accelerated its expansion plans by agreeing to acquire three European shipyards.

The Asian company has confirmed that it will purchase Nordic Yards’ three shipyards in Germany for a total sum of EUR230.6 million (US$251m). The move follows the company’s earlier purchase of the Lloyd Werft shipyard in Germany last year, and will enable Genting Hong Kong to build new cruise ships for its fast-expanding fleet.

The company already operates the Star Cruises brand and will launch a new upscale Asian cruise line, Dream Cruises, in 2017. It also acquired Crystal Cruises in 2015 and has unveiled plans for multiple new ventures, including new ocean-going cruise ships, river cruisers and luxury yachts.

“The rapid growth of the world cruise industry, especially in China, has led to cruise ship order book reaching an all-time high,” said Lim Kok Thay, chairman & CEO of Genting Hong Kong.

“In order to ensure that the company can build the required number of cruise ships in the next decade for our global fleet expansion, it is strategic that we acquired shipyards that can build our cruise ships in a timely basis and in a more cost effective manner.”

The three newly-acquired shipyards include the Wismar shipyard, which features 340-metre-long dry dock, the Warnemunde shipyard, which is 320 metres long and is capable of building the world’s largest cruise ships by today’s standards, and the Stralsund, which is 270 metres long and designed for cruise ships and mega-yachts.

Genting Hong Kong said that owning the shipyards would “free the company from both the delivery timing and pricing uncertainties associated with the cruise ship order book cycle”, allowing it to “focus on the strategic planning, design and deployment of its planned cruise ships among its three brands”.

“The investment… will have good returns from the 10-year planned order book [and] fits perfectly with the company’s global cruise strategy,” Lim concluded.

Written by: Mark Elliott.