SINGAPORE - Resorts World Cruises, a new cruise brand owned by Malaysian tycoon Lim Kok Thay, will debut in Singapore on June 15 with the cruise ship Genting Dream.
This comes just three months after the collapse of Genting Hong Kong - the cruise industry's highest-profile financial casualty since the pandemic started.
Resorts World Cruises is rehiring about 1,600 employees for its new cruise business, and has rehired about 70 of some 100 former employees from the sales and marketing and hotel operations of the defunct Genting Hong Kong, Mr Michael Goh, president & head of international sales told a media briefing on Wednesday morning.
An exclusive by The Straits Times had earlier reported that Resorts World Cruises, a company related to Mr Lim, was registered in Singapore on March 9 and held by shareholder Two Trees Family Holdings.
Two Trees Family, an investment holding company incorporated in Singapore on March 19, 2021, listed Mr Lim and his son Lim Keong Hui, along with Mr Gerard Lim Ewe Keng as directors. The shareholder of Two Trees Family is an Isle of Man entity, Summerhill Trust.
Resorts World Cruises is a brand extension of Resorts World, a global brand with 46 properties worldwide with more than 30,000 employees. Bookings will be available from May 18 at this website.
In conjunction with the launch and as a gesture of goodwill, Resorts World Cruises will offer complimentary cruise credits of the equivalent value for all paid affected passengers affected by World Dream's cruise cancellations in Singapore between March 2 and August 31, 2022.
This is applicable to affected World Dream passengers that have yet to receive any refund from their original booking source, the company said.
To further reassure customers, all cruise payments made will be kept in a separate account that will be drawn down only prior to cruise commencement, it added.
In response to The Straits Times queries, Mr Colin Au, chief executive of Resorts World Cruises, said: "The practice of all cruise companies is to use the cash for working purposes. But we have changed the practice to make sure whatever funds are paid will be kept in cash, and if the cruise itinerary is not performed, then the money will be refunded to customers."
Tan Sri Lim, the company's executive chairman, said in a statement: "We started our cruise operations 30 years ago in Singapore and we are excited to again launch the first Resorts World Cruises in Singapore, the first country to re-open cruising in the region,"
"Resorts World Cruises will have its headquarters in Singapore and is committed to making Singapore the leading cruise hub in Asia.
"We also appreciate the support and trust of the Chinese leasing banks in allowing Resorts World Cruises to charter the Genting Dream," he added.
Mr Lim is the chairman and board executive of Genting Malaysia and Genting, also known as Genting Group, which owns Resorts World Sentosa among other ventures. He was also the chairman and chief executive of cruise operator Genting Hong Kong.
This article was first published in The Straits Times. Permission required for reproduction.