Star Cruises

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Star Cruises fleet

Review of Star Cruises

Star Cruises, member of Genting Hong Kong, is the 3rd biggest cruise line in the world, following Carnival Corporation and Royal Caribbean Cruises. The company dominates the Asia-Pacific market. It is owned by Genting Hong Kong, and is listed on the Singapore Exchange and the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.

The foray of the line into global shipping market allowed Star Cruises to tap into profitable and more mature markets in Europe and North America. Its services cater to Asian guests, as well as to Europeans, Australians and North Americans, interested in Asian destinations. Star Cruises chairman is Tan Sri Lim Kok Thay, son of the late Tan Sri Lim Goh Tong, founder of Genting Highlands, Malaysia.

Star Cruises was established as an associate of Genting Group of Malaysia, incorporated on November 10, 1993 in Bermuda, with corporate headquarters in Hong Kong. The first ships of the company were two cruiseferries bought from the bankrupted estate of Swedish Rederi AB Slite. Star Cruises purchased several other used vessels in the following years. In 1998, the company took delivery of its first newbuild, SuperStar Leo. Sister ship SuperStar Virgo followed in 1999. The same year Star Cruises acquired Sun Cruises.

In 2000, Star Cruises also acquired Norwegian Cruise Line, including the subsidiaries Norwegian Capricorn Line and Orient Lines, becoming the biggest global cruise line in the world. The operations of Norwegian Capricorn Line were soon merged into the operations of Star Cruises. Before the NCL purchase, Star Cruises had several other newbuilds either under construction or planned, but with the merger of the two firms, most of the constructed builds joined the fleet of Norwegian Cruise Line. However, in August 2007, Star Cruises sold 50% of Norwegian Cruise Line for $1 billion to Apollo Management. As of June 30, 2014 Star Cruises only has a 28% stake in the cruise line.

In 2001, Star Cruises founded a sister company, Cruise Ferries, which started operating its sole cruise ship, Wasa Queen, on short sailings from Hong Kong to Xiamen. These were followed by overnight gambling voyages from Hong Kong and gambling trips from Port Klang, Kuala Lumpur. Wasa Queen stopped operating and was sold to another company in 2007.

The then-largest ship of Star Cruises, SuperStar Leo, was transferred in 2004 to Norwegian Cruise Line to take over Norwegian Sky voyages. Since 2006, the trend has been that newbuilds were to be constructed for NCL, and the old ships in the Norwegian fleet would be transferred to Star Cruises fleet in Asia.

In 2008, both Orient Lines and NCL America brands were discontinued, with Orient's sole ship, ms Marco Polo, sold to the Greece-based Global Maritime. The same year, the first ship from Norwegian was transferred to the fleet of Star Cruises as SuperStar Libra.

In 2011, Star Cruises received a brand new hullart. SuperStar Aquarius, Star Pisces and SuperStar Virgo, won their new attire.

On April 27, 2012 it was announced that Norwegian Dream will join the Star Cruises fleet, she will be renamed SuperStar Gemini and start service in 2012.

On October 7, 2013 Star Cruises announced that together with their parent company, Genting Hong Kong, had entered into an agreement with Meyer Werft, Germany for the construction of one new Star cruise ship. The vessel will be able to accommodate 3,364 passengers at double occupancy and will be delivered in Fall 2016.

On February 10, 2014 Star Cruises announced that a second ship was ordered and scheduled for delivery by Fall 2017. On February 9, 2015 the first steel cutting ceremony was held for Genting World at Meyer Werft shipyard. Both newbuilds will weigh 150,000 GT. 

Star Cruises Experience

The big appeal to western clients of Star Cruises is that its ships not only take guests around Asia, but also let you experience Asian lifestyle.

The SuperStar ships were the first to offer the largest number of restaurants afloat. This innovation later passed on to Norwegian's "freestyle dining." SuperStars Virgo and Leo offer Italian, Asian, Japanese and Chinese restaurants. Virgo also boasts the only Indian restaurant afloat. Naturally, Star Cruises ships offer the usual one formal dining room, casual buffets and poolside grills. All dining venues offer open seating for ultimate flexibility. 

The "Asia afloat" feel extends to Star Cruises onboard entertainment. Onboard shows feature spectacular Chinese acrobats, the card rooms are filled with Mah Jong fans, and all vessels have private rooms for parties and extensive karaoke facilities. 

Service is Asian-style - friendly, impeccable and discreet. Star Cruises operates a no-tipping policy and features one of the highest crew-to-passenger ratios in industry, with one staff member for every two guests. 

Star Cruises predominantly markets to Asian vacationers. Folks from other regions might choose for a first Star experience the internationally focused SuperStar Virgo, attracting passengers that range from Japanese to Malaysians and Australians to New Zealanders, together with adventurous-spirited North American and European cruisers.

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