Genting Group has announced that it’s 42,000 ton, 1,480 guest Superstar Libra will cease public cruises operations for Star Cruises, effective as of June 27th this year.
The move is said to be a redeployment ‘to facilitate other arrangements for Genting Hong Kong’. Beyond that, there are no other details regarding a sale or redeployment at this stage.
Reading between the lines, a transfer to uber-luxury Crystal Cruises- another Genting brand- seems unlikely. And, with Genting Cruises itself bringing much larger tonnage on line, a transfer there seems unlikely also.
More likely, an outright sale or long term charter is the most likely option for the popular veteran.
The ship, built in 1988 as the Seaward for Norwegian Cruise Line, was distinctive as being that company’s only true new build throughout the 1980’s. At 42,000 tons she was a one off ship, built by Wartsila in Finland.
She was later renamed as Norwegian Sea to keep her in line with her fleet mates, before being hived off to then parent company, Star Cruises, in 2005.
Restyled again as the Superstar Libra, the ship underwent a substantial refit to make her suitable for the Asian market. She then undertook Star Cruises’ one and only (thus far) deployment out of Asia, when she appeared in the Mediterranean for one season. It was an experiment that the line has not repeated since.
The vessel currently sails on a programme of three and four night cruises that allow for embarkation in either Port Klang, Penang, and Phuket.
Stay tuned for updates.