The Singapore-based company New Century Cruise Lines (NCCL) retired two of Asia’s longest-serving cruise ships.
The vessels join CruiseMapper's list of scrapped cruise ships - ever-growing due to the ongoing pandemic. According to Asian media sources, it was interested in taking advantage of record-low cruise ship asset values to buy a newer, bigger replacement vessel.
New Century Group (NCCL’s Hong Kong China-listed parent company) revealed that it had sold the 15,700 GT ship Leisure World (1969-built) to cash buyer NKD Maritime for USD 3,59 million (~EUR 2,98M/~GBP 2,59M). New Century Group charters its vessels to New Century Cruise Lines for gambling-themed cruises from Malaysia and Singapore and said it would record a gain of ~HKD 6,37M (USD 0,82M) on the sale of the ship, based on its book value of HKD 21,3M.
Leisure World (built as MS Skyward for NCL-Norwegian Cruise Line) was sold to New Century Group in 1995. The vessel has been sitting out the pandemic in Port Penang Malaysia. It is expected to be delivered to NKD Maritime in May 2021.
The Jackston Maritime-owned ship Amusement World (1967-built) will also cease operations for New Century Cruise Lines. The boat has also been sold for scrap metal and will soon depart her current anchorage close to Singapore, heading to Alang India.
Commenting on the disposal of Leisure World, New Century Group said the COVID pandemic had severely affected the operations of its cruise ships, which had been unable to generate charter revenue while at the same time continued to incur maintenance costs. Coupled with strong scrap steel prices, the company had taken the view that disposing of Leisure World had been a suitable way to realize its investment in an uncertain market environment.
The New Century Maritime-owned cruise ship Aegean Paradise (1990-built as "Orient Venus") was sold to Victor Restis (Greece) in 2015 for USD 22 million.
According to cruise shipbrokers, the company had been scouting around for suitable replacement tonnage.