Aroya Manara

Former name: World Dream (GHK-Genting)

Aroya Manara current position

Aroya Manara current location is at North Sea (coordinates 51.89240 N / 4.28563 E) cruising en route to ROTTERDAM. The AIS position was reported 3 minutes ago.

Current Position

Specifications of Aroya Manara

Year of build2017  /  Age: 7
Flag state Marshall Islands
BuilderMeyer Werft (Papenburg, Germany)
Building costUSD 960 million
Engines (power)MAN B&W (62.4 MW / 83680 hp)
Speed24 kn / 44 km/h / 28 mph
Length (LOA)335 m / 1099 ft
Beam (width)38 m / 125 ft
Gross Tonnage150695 gt
Passengers3362
Crew2020
Decks18
Cabins1678
Decks with cabins10
Last Refurbishment2023-2024
Sister-shipsGenting Dream
Former namesWorld Dream (GHK-Genting)
Christened byPuan Sri Cecilia Lim (Dream Cruises GHK)
OwnerPIF-Public Investment Fund Saudi Arabia (via World Dream Company Inc)
OperatorCruise Saudi (via Aroya Cruises)

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The 2017-built (as World Dream) cruise ship Aroya Manara is currently owned by World Dream Company Inc (subsidiary of Saudi Arabia's PIF/Public Investment Fund) and operated by Cruise Saudi (PIF-owned travel brand and cruise agency/2021-founded) via the new travel brand Aroya Cruises (2023-established).

MS World Dream was the second vessel of Genting Cruise Lines' premium brand Dream Cruises (Genting Hong Kong/GHK-owned subsidiary company launched in November 2015).

One of the world's largest passenger liners, the 151300-GT-ton liner debuted in November 2017. The fleetmates were Genting Dream (2016-built sistership), Resorts World One (1999-built as SuperStar Virgo, named "Explorer Dream" following the transfer from Star Cruises in 2019) and the larger Global Dream/Disney Adventure (2020/GLOBAL-class liner/sold to DCL-Disney in 2022).

The Aroya Manara vessel (IMO number 9733117) is currently France-flagged (MMSI 538010484) and registered in Majuro/Marshall Islands. World Dream was Bahamas-flagged (MMSI 311000318) and registered in Nassau.

Since February 2023, the ship is operated by Cruise Saudi (2023-founded, Jeddah-based tourism business) which is a fully-owned subsidiary of PIF (Saudi Arabian Public Investment Fund/1971-founded). Saudi Arabia's sovereign wealth fund is currently ranked one of the world's largest by AUM/assets under management (~USD 620 billion / GBP 514B). The new shipowner is PIF's subsidiary World Dream Company Inc (2023-founded). GHK owned the ship via its subsidiary World Dream Ltd.

History - construction and ownership

GHK was a global entertainment, hospitality, and leisure company based in Hong Kong. For its Dream Cruises brand, GHK ordered two custom-built vessels to serve the Asian market, specifically China. GHK's other two cruise market segments were served by separate brands - Crystal Cruises(ultra-luxury) and Star Cruises (contemporary).

On October 7, 2013, was announced that GHK signed a shipbuilding agreement with Meyer Werft (Papenburg Germany) for the construction of a new vessel for Star Cruises, scheduled for delivery in 2016-Q4. On February 10, 2014, was ordered a sistership, with scheduled delivery in 2017-Q4. Both units were with volume 150,000 GT-tons and passenger capacity 3364 (double occupancy).

However, later GHK decided to create a new brand/subsidiary (Dream Cruises) and both newbuilds were redirected to Dream Cruises. MS Genting World (later renamed to "MS World Dream") had its steel-cutting ceremony held on February 9, 2015. MS World Dream's steel-cutting ceremony was in February 2016, at Meyer Werft Papenburg shipyard. The ship was floated out on August 26th and delivered on October 26, 2017. This was the 44th cruiser built by Meyer Werft. The ceremony was attended by Tim Meyer (Meyer Werft's Managing Director).

Aroya Manara cruise ship (World Dream)

On December 1, 2022, was announced that the 5-year-old MS World Dream was set for auction - approx 9 months after the vessel was arrested by GHK's creditor KfW IPEX-Bank GmbH.

Singapore's High Court ordered World Dream to be sold through a sealed tender auction, with bids due on December 21st. World Dream's value at the time was estimated at US$654 million. For comparison, the sistership Genting Dream was sold in 2020 to a consortium of Chinese banks for US$700 million.

It was speculated that Resorts World Cruises (new brand established in May 2022 by Lim Kok Thay/former GHK majority shareholder) would be actively bidding for the vessel.

Singapore High Court-appointed surveyors conducted a detailed vessel inspection in November 2022 and found it to be in very good condition despite the prolonged lay-up/anchorage off Singapore (since April 3, 2022). The survey report concluded that the ship has been well maintained by the 127 crew onboard.

Singapore Sheriff's Office listed the ship as sold on February 24, 2023, or around two months after the auction was held.

On March 1, 2023, was announced that the vessel was purchased/acquired by Cruise Saudi, at sales price USD 330 million (~EUR 310M / ~GBP 275M). The news was confirmed by Lars Clasen (Cruise Saudi's CEO). On March 1st was also changed the vessel's name (to "MS Manara"/in Arabic meaning "source of light") as well as the ship management company serving it - from V.Ships Leisure (part of V.Group Holdings Ltd/1984-founded, Monaco-registered, London-headquartered) to Columbia Cruise Services GmbH & Co KG (2014-founded, Hamburg-based).

Saudi Arabia's first cruise line brand - Aroya Cruises - was officially launched on June 14, 2023. Aroya's operations are currently managed by Ghassan Khan (Cruise Saudi's CSO/Chief Strategy Officer). In July 2023, Aroya signed a 3-year Gold Sponsorship deal with Al Nassr Football Club (Riyadh-based FC).

Cruise Saudi's Manara is similar in design to NCL's ships Norwegian Breakaway and Norwegian Getaway, while as GT tonnage/volume it equals Norwegian Epic.

Decks and Cabins

MS World Dream/Aroya Manara staterooms (1678 total) accommodate 3362 passengers (max capacity) served by 2020 crew. The crew-to-guest ratio (1:1.7) is the highest compared to any Asia Pacific-based ship.

The German-built vessel is also designed with spacious interiors. ~70% of all staterooms are with private step-out balconies, and 100+ cabins are connecting (with adjoining interior doors) making them suitable for families. Suite services include special perks, privileges, and professional European butler service.

The largest accommodations are the Dream Grand Villas (sized 224 m2 / 2410 ft2). Other Dream Suite categories Executive (56-80 m2 / 600-860 ft2) and Deluxe (43 m2 / 460 ft2).

"The Palace" is a ship-within-ship concept (exclusive complex) consisting of 154 premium Palace Suites (sized 37-40 m2 / 400-430 ft2), exclusive dining and lounge areas, butler service, suite-only perks. The 5-star luxury complex is sized nearly 10,000 m2 (108,000 ft2) and includes The Palace Restaurant, Gym, exclusive sundeck with swimming pool. The all-inclusive luxury experience features Seafood Buffet (The Palace Restaurant), complimentary Premium Beverage package (in all onboard bars and restaurants), Captain's Welcome Cocktail Party, Crystal Life Cafe (healthy breakfast, vegetarian lunch), dedicated Kids Program (for children 2 to 12 yo), dedicated "Connoisseurs Circle" (enrichment program), complimentary fitness classes, complimentary shore excursions, priority services, specialty dining shipwide.

Aroya Manara cruise ship (World Dream)

The boat has 18 decks, of which 14 are passenger-accessible and 10 with cabins.

Note: Deck 15 is actually the ship's "Deck 14". This enumeration is due to the fact that for the Chinese, numbers that include 4 are considered unlucky - similar to the Western practice of the number 13, and the Italians' number 17.

Shipboard dining options - Food and Drinks

Aroya Manara has a total of 27 dining and beverage venues (5 complimentary restaurants, 11 specialty restaurants, 12 cafes/bars/lounges) serving Arabian, Lebanese, Italian, Chinese, Japanese, and South Asian dishes, as well as international cuisine favorites.

A wraparound Promenade (length 610 m/2000 ft) is a special place for dining and offers seaside dining and lounging from early morning to late evening in various themed venues.

 

Follows the complete list of World Dream restaurants and food bars.

  • World Dining Room (300 indoor seats) is a complimentary restaurant open for breakfast (7-10 am), lunch (12-noon - 2 pm) and dinner (5-8 pm). Chinese dishes and vegetarian options are always available.
  • Dream Dining Room (428 indoor seats) is a complimentary restaurant open for breakfast (6-9 am), lunch (12-noon - 2 pm) and dinner (5-8 pm). Chinese dishes and vegetarian options are always available.
  • The Lido (554 indoor seats) is a complimentary buffet (self-serve) restaurant open for breakfast (7-10 am), lunch (12-noon - 2 pm) and dinner (5-8 pm). Breakfast options include made-to-order dishes (omelets, pancakes, waffles). Lunch and dinner options also include made-to-order dishes (pasta, salads), fresh-baked pizzas, soups, carving stations (roasts), Asian entrees, vegetarian dishes, separate salad bar, fresh fish (catch of the day), desserts (incl sugar-free items).
  • Silk Road & Cabaret is a Chinese specialty restaurant (148 seats, at surcharge, reservations-only) with original dishes created by Asian Chefs, an extensive wine list and an extensive Baiju list. In the evenings (11 pm till late), Silk Road transforms into the Cabaret (show lounge).
  • BISTRO by Mark Best (165 indoor seats / Chef's Table has 10 indoor seats) is an a la carte priced restaurant (reservations-only) serving western dishes (international cuisine specialties), fine wines (by the glass), a selection of domestic and international beers, specialty coffees/teas. The BISTRO is open for breakfast (7-10 am), lunch (12-noon - 2 pm) and dinner (5-8 pm).
  • BISTRO Chef's Table (10 indoor seats) is part of the Bistro restaurant. This is a Private Table (dining room) available for individual and group booking. Each of the dishes is paired with fine wines. Chef's Table becomes active only when at least 8 passengers book in.
  • BISTRO Grill Outdoor (54 outdoor seats) is also part of the Bistro restaurant. The grill is reservations only and opens for lunch (12-noon - 2 pm) and dinner (5-8 pm).
  • Umi Uma (44 indoor seats / 42 outdoor seats) is a Japanese cuisine specialty restaurant (at surcharge, reservations required) open for dinner-only, between 5-8 pm.
  • Umi Uma Tepanyaki (78 indoor seats) is a live cooking venue where dishes are prepared by the ship's master chefs. The restaurant is at a surcharge and opens for dinner-only, between 5-8 pm.
  • Umi Uma Sushi Bar (13 indoor seats) is a specialty restaurant (at surcharge, reservations required) open for lunch (12-noon - 2 pm) and dinner (5-8 pm). The sushi bar offers signature dishes and an extensive Sake menu.
  • Lobby Bar (40 seats, open between 7 am - 1 am) serves the lobby area with non-alcoholic and alcoholic drinks.
  • BreadBox is a bread shop (onboard bakery) / Snacks & Refreshment bar selling fresh-baked gourmet bread, cinnamon rolls, cookies, specialty coffees (Espresso, Latte, Cappucino, Viennese), Tiffin take away menu. BreadBox is open between 10 am - 8 pm.
  • Lobby Cafe (7 seats, open between 7 am - 8 pm) is a takeaway cafe bar offering southeast Asian favorites. To go dishes are in Tiffin boxes.
  • Bar 360 (27 seats) offers premium Bourbons, cocktails and other beverages.
  • Blue Lagoon (172 seats) is a 24-hour open restaurant (at a surcharge) with an a la carte priced menu and chefs live cooking stations. The restaurant also offers specialty coffees/teas and gourmet desserts (incl ice cream. Blue Lagoon is closed only between 4-5 am.
  • Red Lion Pub (75 seats) is an English pub bar serving draft beers, international bottled beers, a variety of pub drinks and snacks, also full pub food menu. The pub is open 24 hours. The lunch menu is served between 12-noon - 2 pm, and dinner menu - between 6-10 pm.
  • Johnnie Walker House
  • Wine Vault (wine bar) is open between 11 am - 12-midnight, and hosts wine tasting events with sommelier service.
  • BAR CITY 256 indoor / 177 outdoor seats - total 341) is a lounge complex that includes The Whisky House, Mixt and Bubbles.
  • The Whisky House (30 indoor / 47 outdoor seats) offers an impressive selection of top-brand whiskies, exclusive service, whisky tasting courses matched with gourmet meals paired with each vintage. The Whisky House is open between 11 am - 12-midnight. Bookings for special and whisky tasting events are required.
  • Mixt (159 indoor / 44 outdoor seats) is a beverages only / cocktail bar with a separate snack menu.
  • Bubbles (50 seats) is a premium Champagne bar lounge open between 11 am - 12-midnight.
  • Boba Cha (14 outdoor seats) is open between 10 am - 6 pm and offers non-alcoholic beverages.
  • Gelateria (20 outdoor seats) is an ice cream bar open between 10 am - 6 pm. The a la carte priced menu has a variety of ice creams, toppings, sherbets, frozen yogurt, fresh strawberries, home-baked cookies.
  • Hot Pot (108 seats, open between 5-10 pm) is an outdoor dinner-only restaurant (at surcharge, reservations-only) offering poultry, meat, seafood, and vegetarian dishes.
  • Crystal Life Cuisine (61 indoor seats) is a healthy food restaurant (at a surcharge) also offering fresh-squeezed juices for the gym users. Crystal Life Cuisine is open for breakfast (8-9 am), lunch (12-noon - 2 pm) and dinner (5-8 pm), and reservations are required.
  • World Club (60 indoor seats) is an exclusive (Dream Mansion passengers only) restaurant with an exclusive wine list. World Club is open for breakfast (7-10 am), lunch (12-noon - 2 pm) and dinner (5-8 pm). Reservations are required.
  • World Grill (258 outdoor seats) is an outdoor complimentary dining venue open for breakfast (7-10 am), lunch (12-noon - 2 pm) and dinner (5-8 pm). Throughout the day, World Grill serves the pool deck with fast food/snacks. In addition to the grilled food, during breakfast and lunch times is offered the Lido's menu.
  • "Penfolds Wine Vault" (partnership with the Australian winemaker Penfolds) is a specialty restaurant/premium wine bar (at surcharge PP). The wine list features the rare vintages "Penfolds Bin 170", "Penfolds Grange 2010" and also "Penfolds Yattarna" (a special Chardonnay). Food pairing opportunities are provided by expert chefs and professional sommeliers. The Wine Vault also hosts reservation-only wine tasting events as part of the onboard enrichment programming.
  • Pool Deck Bar is open between 7 am - 6 pm and serves with drinks at the swimming pool area. The bar offers cocktails and mocktails and serves a total of 380 outdoor seats plus 330 sunbeds.
  • The Living Room (42 indoor seats) is an exclusive (Dream Mansion passengers only) lounge manned by Butlers and open between 7 am - 1 am. The lounge serves complimentary drinks (upon request) and snacks (in the mornings and afternoons).
  • Dream Mansion Lounge (31 indoor seats) is an exclusive (Dream Mansion passengers only) lounge open between 7 am - 1 am. It is manned by Butlers and offers complimentary beverages.
  • World Club Restaurant & Lounge (37 indoor seats) is an exclusive (Dream Mansion passengers only) with an exclusive list of premium wines (offered complimentary by the glass). World Club Lounge is open between 7-10 am, 12-noon - 2 pm and 5-8 pm. Here are served various complimentary beverages, including specialty coffees/teas.
  • Sun Deck Bar (portside/starboard); Sundeck Bar Portside and Sundeck Bar Starboard have 38 outdoor seats (each) and serve refreshments (incl beer, cocktails, mocktails) between 7 am and 6 pm.
  • Dream Mansion Cafe (140 indoor seats) is an exclusive snack and refreshments venue open between 7 am - 1 am.
  • The Market is an outdoor venue serving non-alcoholic drinks only.
  • Palm Court (115 indoor seats) is a premium bar (open between 7 am - 12-midnight) with Afternoon High Tea service (between 2:30-5 pm).

In December 2017, Dream Cruises introduced on MS World Dream Asia's first "Tiffany" retail shop at sea. The fleet's new amenity also offers to purchase the exclusive "Tiffany High Tea Set". The exclusive Tiffany Afternoon Tea service is complemented with premium treats and served at the "Seafood Grill" on Mondays, Thursdays, and Saturdays.

In 2017, Dream Cruises also debuted on World Dream Asia's (and the world's) first at sea "Dior Jewelry and Watches" retail shop. The World Dream ship also features the interactive "Scents and Spirits" (perfumes sampling and potables tasting), as well as the Make-Up Bar where passengers can experiment with the beauty industry's latest products and techniques.

In late July 2020, Dream Cruises debuted (on MS Explorer Dream) the "Flexi-Feast" - a completely customized shipboard dining (food and beverage) concept that allows passengers to choose from more venues. Upon boarding the ship, cruisers receive a set of complimentary dining vouchers which can be used at designated restaurants, as well as OBC (onboard credits) for ordering meals at specialty restaurants, beverages at bars and also for room-service orders.

The Irth Culinary Boutique & Cafe is a dining venue serving dishes from a menu based on traditional Saudi food and beverages. This is the first-at-sea restaurant offering Saudi cuisine. All its staff is certified and trained by the Culinary Arts Commission (2020-established government body). Culinary Arts Commission classifies restaurants, dishes and chefs, registers Saudi and foreign dishes, writes down recipes, publicizes/promotes domestically and internationally traditional Saudi dishes and also encourages dining-related research and studies.

Shipboard entertainment options - Fun and Sport

Plenty of recreation venues are available aboard World Dream, including multiple pool types, 6 water slides, rope climbing course, playrooms, card rooms, mahjong, bowling alley, and duty-free shopping. Health and wellness facilities include state-of-the-art Western and Asian spas, Zodiac Theatre, health club, beauty salon, barbershop, and enhance the guest experience. Other activities include inspirational speeches and wine tasting to enrich passengers' time at sea.

Genting Dream Cruises ships mini-submarine

Each Dream Cruises ship offers unique underwater excursions via 2 mini-submarines (underwater craft). They are able to carry cruise passengers deep under the sea while the ship operates in select Asian destinations. Each minisub carries 1 pilot and up to 4 passengers at a time. The cruise ship also carries a motorboat that can be booked for shore excursions.

Follows the complete list of World Dream lounges, clubs and other entertainment venues for kids, teens, and adults.

  • Zodiac Theatre
  • Tributes (170 indoor / 40 outdoor seats) is live show lounge and bar also hosting specially themed events. The full-service bar offers spirits, cocktails, beers, wines, fresh-made snacks. Tributes Lounge & Bar are open between 10 am - 11:30 pm.
  • Zouk (125 indoor seats) is the ships disco nightclub that during the day doubles as a sports bar. It is open between 8 pm - 2 am, features 4 bowling lanes and pool tables, and reservations are required.
  • Zouk Beach Club (154 outdoor seats) offers cabana seating, swimming pool, a giant LED screen for movies under the stars and for live sporting events, two private outdoor decks. These venues can also be booked for private or corporate events.
  • Karaoke (49 indoor seats) is a complex of 5 karaoke singing rooms, open 24 hours, with luxurious furniture, premium alcohol (cognacs, Armagnacs, whiskies, wines), gourmet snacks.
  • Star Club; Star Club II; Premium Club; Humidor (smoking-allowed cigar lounge); Mahjong Room (Card Room).
  • Blossom by Aroya complex (Crystal Life Asian Spa, Wellness & Fitness)
  • Le Salon (Beauty Salon/hairdresser, manicure-pedicure)
  • The Gentlemen's Barber (barbershop)
  • Boutiques (duty-free shopping arcade); The Dream Boutiques
  • Boardwalk / Promenade is a 610 m (2000 ft) long wraparound outdoor promenade deck lined with outdoor seating venues.
  • Little Pandas Club (kids club with complimentary children's programming - Little Dreamers, Mermaid Academy, Astronaut Camp at Sea, dress-up parties)
  • Kids Aqua Zone is sized 1858 m2/20,000 ft2. The Waterslide Park has a total of 6 slides, of which 5 are for adults only (tubed) and 1 water slide is for kids only. The adults-only waterslides' entrances are on deck 20 (aft). All slides are free of charge.
  • Sun Deck (sunbathing area with loungers)
  • Rock Climbing Wall (height 7 m / 24 ft.) is free of charge.
  • The Ropes Course attraction offers many outdoor activities and also unique photo opportunities. Part of the course is the Zip Line (length 35 m / 115 ft) available only for adults. The Zip Line is located aft, above the sea and over the portside. For children and teens is available the "Walk the Plank" (also above the sea)
  • Mini-Golf Course is a 9-hole putting green course (free of charge).
  • Sportsplex is a multi-sport course (full-size basketball court) also used for playing volleyball and 5-a-side football (soccer).

The onboard children can enjoy the 1858 m2 kids zone with a splash area and water slides.

Itineraries

MS World Dream's cruise itinerary program was based on China roundtrips out of homeports Hong Kong and Guangzhou/Nansha Port. Also were operated fly-cruises to Vietnam and The Philippines.

The ship's 5-night / 6-day itineraries visited the Philippines (Manila and Boracay Island, November 17, 2017, through March 31, 2018). The other set offers 5-night / 6-day itineraries to Vietnam (Saigon and Nha Trang, December 3, 2017, through October 2018). Also offered are 2-night / 3-day Pearl River Delta weekend cruises leaving roundtrip from Hong Kong. B2B cruise deals ("back-to-back") are also available for booking, combining the 2-night weekend with two 5-night workweek itineraries into a 12-night B2B itinerary.

In October 2017, Dream Cruises announced a new homeport deployment for the ship - Singapore (Marina Bay Terminal), also offering discount-priced fly-cruise deals from China.

In 2018, the ship offered Dream Cruises 5-night itinerary to Japan (Sunday departures from both Nansha and Hong Kong). The itinerary visited Naha and Miyakojima Island (with 2 sea days) and returned to Nansha and Hong Kong on Friday. This China to Japan voyage ended with "Dream Night" - the company's traditional for every 5-night voyage laser and fireworks show at sea.

In 2019, Dream Cruises introduced the "One Day Greater Bay Cruise" itinerary interlinking both homeports. Mini-cruise prices started from RMB 500 (US$64/EUR 66) per person. Departures were offered on Fridays (Guangzhou to Hong Kong) and on Sundays (Hong Kong to Guangzhou). During the promo period (March through June 2019), every booked passenger received an OBC/onboard credit voucher worth HKD 100 (US$13/EUR 11).

In the period November 6, 2020, through June 27, 2021, MS World Dream had scheduled a series of "Super Seacation" itineraries (roundtrips from Singapore) to ports in Thailand and Korea. In early February were added two new themed voyages.

  1. The "Rhythm of Korea" itinerary (February 21 to March 31, 2021) was themed on Korea's ancient and modern history and featured as special shipboard events Hanbok fashion shows, outdoor games (Jegichagi, Tuho and Arrows), movie projections (Korean blockbusters at the ship's Cinema at Sea), music and dancing classes (Hallyu K-Pop Dance 101 Classes), "Hair-ppiness" (hairdressing and styling workshops), Flawless Beauty Talks, basic Korean language classes, K-Culture Trivia (quizzes), cooking demos and classes (classic recipes like Kimbap and Kimchi).
  2. The "Amazing Thailand" itinerary (March 31 to May 28, 2021) themed on Songkran/Thailand's New Year featured as onboard activities movie marathons (Thai blockbusters), Thai music shows (traditional and pop), Muay Thai (boxing training), Sepak Takraw gaming (kick volleyball), Pitch Burst Challenge, Water Gun Tag, spa massage promos (at the ship's Crystal Life Spa), Thai street food (at the ship's Thai Street Market at Sea and other complimentary restaurants).

World Dream's last cruise for GHK (Singapore roundtrip) ended on March 2, 2022. Right after docking, the vessel was arrested by KfW IPEX-Bank.

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On January 10, 2017, at Meyer Werft GmbH's Meyer Neptun yard (in Papenburg Germany) was held the vessel's keel-laying ceremony with wich officially started its physical construction/assembly. The special event was attended by Tan Sri Lim Kok Thay (Genting Hong Kong's Chairman and CEO) and Thatcher Brown (Dream Cruises' President). During the ceremony, block 3 (one of all 92 construction blocks) was lifted into the building dock, thus the ship's assembly was officially started. Also during the ceremony, "lucky coins" were placed under the keel block as a traditional good fortune symbol.

The vessel (Meyer Neptun yard/hull number S711) has volume 150695 GT-tons, DWT-deadweight 15370 tons, mx width 44 m (with the bridge wings), max draught 8,6 m. The powerplant is based on MAN B&W marine diesel engines (model 14V48/60B) with combined output 62,4 MW (83680 hp).

Before Cruise Saudi, the registered shipowner was WORLD DREAM LTD, the registered operator was GENTING CRUISE LINES while the management company was V.SHIPS LEISURE S.A.M.

The vessel's launch (float-out from drydock) was held on August 26, 2017, at Papenburg Shipyard (Germany). From the covered shipyard (drydock hall), the new liner was docked at the outfitting pier for final works. On September 17, 2017, started the navigation on Ems River to Eemshaven Holland (for testing), then to Bremerhaven Germany for the North Sea trials.

 

The ship was christened in Hong Kong (at Kai Tak Terminal) on November 17, 2017. Its godmother is Mrs. Puan Sri Cecilia Lim - wife of Tan Sri Lim Kok Thay (GHK's CEO). The ceremony was attended by over 1000 VIP guests, including Chinese government dignitaries, GHK business partners, media representatives.

Before the ship's inauguration in November, in mid-September 2017, Dream Cruises started a promotional campaign for building the world's largest LEGO-made cruise ship. The LEGO Word Dream ship replica has length 8,44 m (27,7 ft) and was officially certified by Guinness as a world record creation. Ship's inaugural cruise itineraries were scheduled as two departures - from Hong Kong (November 17) and out of Nansha-Guangzhou (November 19). The 5-night itinerary's ports of call were in the Philippines (Boracay, Manila) and Vietnam (Saigon, Nha Trang).

Wartsila Funa was the supplier of the ship's unique external "Dynamic Exterior Lighting" system. The innovative lighting system provides stunning visual effects (color, movement, and video) to the vessel's exterior. The technology is based on custom-designed and individually controlled LED RGBW lighting units. Wartsila Funa specializes in audio, video and lighting control design for large land-based public facilities (including theme parks, attractions, museums) and for cruise ships.

MS World Dream has the world's first permanent eSports gaming facility at sea. The 1700 ft2 (158 m2) sized venue is part of "VR Center" (virtual reality gaming complex with ESC Experience Lab). Ship's eSports facility has a capacity for 80 persons (live audience) and up to 10 players. eSports events are streamed live to all TVs and LED screens on the ship, including all staterooms, the indoor Zodiac Theatre and the outdoor theatre Zouk Beach Club. eSports video gaming competitions involve physical and mental training. eSports is officially admitted as a medal sport for the 2022 Asian Games (Hangzhou, China). eSports gaming is also a potential activity for the 2024 Summer Olympics (Paris, France).

In 2018, the liner became world's first cruise ship to offer Matcha-themed cruises. Matcha is a finely ground powder of specialty tea leaves. In the period April 29 through June 14, passengers booked on 2- and 5-night itineraries enjoyed authentic Japanese culture experience. The themed voyages were via a partnership with Nakamura Tokichi Honten - one of Japan's finest tea houses. The unique onboard events included Kimono masterclass, tea expert-led workshops, Japanese tea tasting lessons, Tea Kabuki (traditional quiz game), meet-and-greets with Okinawan celebrity illustrator, Awamori (alcoholic beverage) tasting, limited-edition Matcha delicacies (cream roll, cream puff, cheesecake) traditionally served with steeped Matcha tea latte. Shipboard dining included Okinawan food and drinks, such as Wagyu beef, Agu pork, seasonal vegetables, and fruits.

June through November 2018, the ship offered "Taste the Dream" – Wine and Dine at Sea". The event featured a collaboration between 6 Asian celebrity chefs (Michelin-starred) and the company's culinary team. Passengers booked in "The Palace Suites" had the chance to enjoy limited-edition food and wine pairing menus ("4-hand" / created by 2 chefs). The limited tasting menus were included in the complimentary dining options for "The Palace Suite" passengers on World Dream. The program also included interactive cooking workshops (led by the chefs) and exclusive "Chef’s Table" throughout the voyages. The 6 celebrity chefs were Alvin Leung, Chan Kwok Keung, Christian Yang, Martin Yan, Vicky Cheng, Wan Tat Kong.

The ship's first Master was Captain Robert Bodin.

In December 2020, MS World Dream became the Asia Pacific's first Halal-friendly cruise liner to receive certifications from both UNWHD (United World Halal Development/Singapore) and the GVCS (Global Vegetarian Certification Services/Chennai India).

For one year (November 6, 2020, through Nov 8, 2021), World Dream served ~200,000 Singaporeans via 150+ "Super Seacations" (cruise-to-nowhere itineraries) roundtrip from homeport Singapore.

Cruise Saudi Manara refurbishments 2023-2024 review

Cruise Saudi’s first drydocking project for MS Manara was scheduled for 2023 (June-August) to be conducted at Bredo Dry Docks GmbH's yard in Bremerhaven Germany. The relocation voyage via the Suez Canal (RepositionCruises.com) included anchorage stops (for bunkering) off Valletta Harbour (Malta).

Details on the extensive refit and refurbishment works were announced in March 2024. The drydocking project included the complete renovations of all public areas and the passenger staterooms. The Casino Lounge (purpose-built larger than average to serve Asian customers) was replaced with shopping arcades. A second drydocking is planned to be conducted in Holland (at DSR/Damen Shiprepair Rotterdam) in June 2024.

In September 2023, Cruise Saudi contracted MJM Marine Ltd (1983-founded manufacturing and outfitting company) and DE Wave Group (2014-founded, specializing in cruise ship and yacht interiors) for the full-scale (98%) refurbishment of Aroya Manara which is scheduled for 2024.

By this project, MJM Group will upgrade all staterooms and will supervise the construction of new onboard venues (dining, shopping, wellness and relaxation), as well as various steelworks, upgrades to the ship's electrical and mechanical systems, and the installation of furniture, finishes, ceiling fixtures. DE Wave Group will outfit Manara’s upper decks (open-deck, public and catering areas), also adding new Suites.

In November 2023 was contracted DL Services (2004-founded galley design/marine catering architecture company) to develop Manara ship's catering spaces. For the project, DL Services hired the hospitality service and consultancy firm COLUMBIA signature (2021-founded) to redevelop/completely redesign World Dream's existing catering spaces. Besides the new designs, the deal also included the delivery and installation of new galley/kitchen equipment.

World Dream refurbishment 2020 review

The vessel's first drydock (at DSR/Damen Shiprepair Rotterdam) started on March 25, 2020. Details on the project's duration, cost and works (upgrades, renovations) were not announced at the time.

World Dream cruise ship LEGO model

In April 2018, Dream Cruises completed the MS World Dream's LEGO ship.

The replica was created of 2,5+ million LEGO bricks and is currently ranked the world's largest LEGO cruise ship. It weighs around 2,8 tons and has length 8,44 m (27,7 ft), width 1,33 m (4,4) and height 1,53 m (5 ft).

 

The ship model was constructed by 1000+ people (company guests and from the general public) led by Andy Hung. He is a full-time artist (working exclusively with LEGO blocks) and China's first LEGO-certified professional.

After 2 months of effort, the model was officially unveiled at Kai Tak Terminal (Hong Kong). Following the final measuring, Dream Cruises was presented with an official "Guinness World Records" certificate.

Inaugural itineraries 2017

After the official handover ceremony to Dream Cruises (October 26, 2017), the ship started a Europe-Asia relocation itinerary to Gibraltar, through the Mediterranean Sea and Suez Canal and across the Indian Ocean before ending at the dual homeports Hong Kong (November 17) and Nansha-Guangzhou (November 19).

In October 2017, Dream Cruises announced a new homeport deployment for World Dream - Singapore (Marina Bay Terminal).

For November 26, 2017, was scheduled the inaugural 5-night itinerary roundtrip from Singapore and visited Thailand (Penang and Phuket) and Burma (MacLeod Island / private island, famous for its Myanmar Andaman Resort). The ship's Singapore homeporting offers China fly-cruise deals for the top-luxury Asian travel market.