Malaysian billionaire Lim Kok Thay is launching a brand-new cruise line from Singapore just four months after winding down Genting Hong Kong (formerly Star Cruises) as the cruise ship operator ran out of cash during the Covid-19 pandemic which upended the tourism industry.
Lim relaunched his cruise line business less than two months after stepping down as chairman and CEO of Genting Hong Kong in late January as the company filed for liquidation. In early March, he incorporated Resorts World Cruises in Singapore to run cruise operations out of the Southeast Asian financial hub. The sole shareholder of Resorts World Cruises is Genting Malaysia Bhd. in which Lim is the chairman, according to regulatory filings.
Resorts World Cruises will initially operate one ship, Genting Dream, which will provide cruise to nowhere services from Singapore next month, Bloomberg quoted Michael Goh, the company’s president and head of international sales, in a media briefing. Goh was the former president of Dream Cruises, among the companies that went into liquidation after parent Genting Hong Kong failed to secure financing when its German shipyard unit MV Werften went into insolvency.
Genting is rebuilding its cruise business as travel demand is rebounding after governments around the region lifted Covid-19 restrictions and reopened their international borders to tourists. The group’s casino resorts in Malaysia and Singapore have been upgrading their facilities in preparation for a post-pandemic tourism recovery.
Besides the cruise business and properties in Singapore and Malaysia, Lim owns stakes in casino resorts in the Philippines and the U.S. The Genting Group also owns palm oil plantations in Malaysia. His real-time net worth has fallen to about $2 billion from $2.6 billion in June 2021 when Forbes last published the ranking of Malaysia’s 50 Richest.