Following the five-ship order of Crystal Cruises with Lloyd Werft, it was announced that Genting Hong Kong was in negotiations with the shipyard about a significant ownership stake.

A Genting stake, said to be at least 25%, would help the yard in financing necessary upgrades to construct Crystal’s ships. It could give Genting an advantage on future orders for its cruise brands, Star Cruises and Crystal.

Lloyd Werft was selected for the building of the three new 1,000-berth, 100,000-ton polar class ships for Crystal Cruises and two new class river vessels for the new brand Crystal River Cruises.

Tan Sri Thay Kok Lim, Genting Hong Kong chairman, told a conference in Bremerhaven, Germany that investment could help creating a new shipbuilding industry in the region.

The shipyard today is what remained of Bremer Vulkan after in 1997 it went out of business. In 1996 Bremer Vulkan, together with Lloyd Werft, had delivered the 1,928-passenger Costa Victoria, while Lloyd Werft completed the 2,002-passenger Norwegian Sky in 1999.

Norwegian Sun followed in 2001 from Lloyd Werft on a hull built at Wismar. Pride of America was delivered in 2004 on a hull started at Pascagoula, Mississippi for the late American Classic Voyages.

Six months ago, the button was pushed by Tan Sri Thay Kok Lim to start cutting the first steel for the 3,364-passenger newbuild of Star Cruises, Genting World, at Meyer Werft Papenburg shipyard.

The new ship, which was the first of two ordered from the yard, will offer over thirty food and beverage options, a night street market featuring hawker stalls, a kids' water park and vast shopping area with renowned international brands.

By acquiring a Lloyd Werft's stake, Genting Hong Kong will acquire inhouse capabilities for constructing new cruise ships for both the newly expanding brand of Star Cruises and its upmarket Crystal brand. Fifteen years ago the Star Cruises' brand went on the back burner by giving up most of its newbuilding program to Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) for its Freestyle Cruising program.