SuperStar Libra

Former names: Norwegian Sea, MS Seaward

Specifications of SuperStar Libra

Year built1988  /  Age: 34
BuilderWartsila Marine (Turku, Finland)
Building costUSD 120 million
Engines (power)Wartsila-Sulzer (18.48 MW / 24782 hp)
Speed20 kn / 37 kph / 23 mph
Length (LOA)216 m / 709 ft
Beam (width)33 m / 108 ft
Gross Tonnage42285 gt
Passengers1500
Crew740
Passengers-to-space ratio28
Decks10
Cabins740
Decks with cabins6
Last Refurbishment2013, Aliaga-scrapped in 2022
Former namesNorwegian Sea, MS Seaward
OwnerGHK-Genting Hong Kong Ltd (via SuperStar Libra Ltd)
OperatorGenting Cruise Lines (via Star Cruises Asia)

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Review of SuperStar Libra

The 1988-built/2022-scrapped SuperStar Libra cruise ship was last owned by GHK (Genting Hong Kong, part of Genting Group Malaysia) and managed by the GHK's subsidiary Genting Cruise Lines via the Star Cruises brand. Fleetmates were Star Pisces, SuperStar Aquarius, SuperStar Gemini.

The vessel (IMO number 8612134) was last Bahamas-flagged (MMSI 308188000) and registered in Nassau.

On March 2, 2018, via letters and emails sent to all booked customers, the shipowner GHK announced that SuperStar Libra ends its passenger shipping operations for Star Cruises on June 27, 2018. Between August 2018 and April 2022, the liner (re-classed as "Accommodation Vessel") served as a hotel ship in Wismar Germany for the shipbuilding company MV Werften. SuperStar Libra was permanently docked/moored at MV Werften Wismar shipyard's quay.

On February 4, 2022, was announced that the shipowner (Administrator Star Cruises Germany GmbH) went bankrupt. This was a result of MV Werften's bankruptcy (filed on January 10th) followed by GHK's bankruptcy (filed on January 18th).

German media reports said that the 34-year-old SuperStar Libra has been sold for scrapping at Aliaga Turkey. Based on the satellite AIS data, the boat (which remained docked in Wismar for ~2,5 years) left the port on April 7, 2022 (last reported position at 6:23 UTC), en route to Greece (the exact destination was not revealed), reportedly, to serve again as a hotel ship. Sadly, in May the vessel was beached at Aliaga for dismantling.

History - construction and ownership

Star Cruises is part of Genting Cruise Lines (subsidiary of GHK-Genting Hong Kong Corporation) - the world's 5th-largest cruise shipowner, after Carnival Corporation, RCG-Royal Caribbean Group, MSC and NCLH-Norwegian. The company (listed on Singapore Exchange and Hong Kong Stock Exchange) dominates the Asia-Pacific cruising market. Star Cruises was established as a subsidiary and travel brand of Genting Group of Malaysia (incorporated in Bermuda in 1993), with corporate headquarters in Hong Kong China.

The fleet's first ships were two cruiseferries bought from Rederi AB Slite (1947-founded/1993-bankrupt, see VIKING LINE). In the following years, Star Cruises purchased several other second-hand ships, then followed two newbuilds - SuperStar Leo/Norwegian Spirit (1998) and the sistership SuperStar Virgo (1999).

SuperStar Libra cruise ship

Star Cruises ships were recognized by their funnel design. Star Pisces was the first with such a design. Later the company based all liners on the Star Pisces' funnel design.

The 1500-passenger ship SuperStar Libra is a modern cruise ship delivered in May 1988 by Wartsila Marine at Turku New Shipyard (in Turku Finland) to meet the new challenges of the cruise market. The first name of the cruise ship was Seaward (1988) when the vessel was operated by NCL-Norwegian Cruise Line (renamed to "Norwegian Sea" in 1997). It was renamed SuperStar Libra in 2005, the year when the vessel began operation for Star Cruises. During the period when the cruise ship was sailing as a part of the fleet of Star Cruises, there were several cruises in the Mediterranean, Adriatic, and Aegean seas in the mid-2006. SuperStar Libra was directed to Mumbai at the end of September 2006. The next 2 years the cruise ship sailed in Vietnam. During November 2007 - March 2008, SuperStar Libra was used for destinations from Hong Kong and operated 2-7-night roundtrips to ports in China, Vietnam, and Taiwan. For some weeks of the year, the vessel sailed from Singapore (November 2008 - January 2009).

Decks and Cabins

SuperStar Libra provides a total of 740 staterooms in 15 categories. The largest accommodations are the Executive Suites (385 ft2 / 36 m2). All suites are equipped with HDTV, DVD player, mini-fridge, separate lounge area.

The boat has 10 passenger decks, of which 6 are with cabins.

Shipboard dining options - Food and Drinks

SuperStar Libra is operated as a "freestyle" cruise ship, which means passengers have the choice to dine when, where and with whom they choose. All food presentation is a treat for the eye. All meals are included during the voyage at the main dining restaurants.

Follows the complete list of SuperStar Libra restaurants and food bars.

  • Four Seasons Restaurant
  • Mariners Restaurant (Buffet-style restaurant, offers International cuisine of high quality with fresh ingredients - a hallmark of Star Cruises); Patio (outside on Pool Deck)
  • Ocean Palace (family-style Chinese restaurant)
  • Tai Pan (a la carte Chinese restaurant for more upscale Chinese cuisine)
  • Blue Lagoon (serves fast food and snacks).

Shipboard entertainment options - Fun and Sport

SuperStar Libra resembles a floating resort, with unforgettable facilities and recreational activities. Guest on board the cruise ship can become familiar with Asian culture and meet Asian hospitality. The vessel offers a relaxing atmosphere, resort-style cruise experience, excellent services and the highest possible standards. It is a place where guests can get away from the stress in their everyday life.

SuperStar Libra cruise ship

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

  • Star Club
  • Health Club; Beauty Salon
  • Activity Centre; VIP Room
  • Crystal Court; Park Avenue; Lickety Splits
  • Boomers Disco
  • Star Boutique; Internet Cafe; Photo Gallery; Card Room
  • Galaxy of the Stars (Theater)
  • Sports Deck, Shuffle Board; Basketball Court
  • Pool Deck, Pool Bar, 2 swimming pools, 2 Jacuzzis; Sun Deck; Jogging Track.

Itineraries

SuperStar Libra itinerary program is based on 1-3-day short breaks / mini-cruises in Southeast Asia. The ship's 2017 cruise schedule (starting September 3) was based on 3 homeports - Port Klang (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia), Penang (Malaysia) and Phuket (Thailand). with weekly operated 2 roundtrips from Malaysia, including 3-night itinerary (Kuala Lumpur-Phuket-Penang) and 4-night itinerary (Kuala Lumpur-Langkawi Island-Phuket-Penang).

Star Cruises' 2017 itinerary program featured an introduction of multiple homeports per vessel, in addition to the company's fly-cruise program. The new program allows cruise ship tourists in Southeast Asia to have more flexibility to choose a homeport (departure port) on SuperStar Libra. Each of the homeports (turnaround ports for roundtrip departures) is a well-connected port city, and especially Kuala Lumpur - a major flight hub in Asia.

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The vessel (STX Finland Turku shipyard/hull number 111179) was launched in May 1988 as "MS Seaward", starting services in June. Initially, it was operated by Kloster Cruises (now NCL-Norwegian Cruise Line) under the name "Norwegian Sea". In 1997, NCL changed the vessel's name (after 9 years of service) to "Norwegian Sea". In July 2005, the renamed "SuperStar Libra" was officially transferred to Star Cruises.

In the period 1988-1998, the ship operated roundtrips from the USA to Caribbean islands (leaving from homeport Miami Florida) and mainly 7-day itineraries. In 1994 were introduced short breaks - 3-day to The Bahamas (Nassau and Great Stirrup Cay) and 4-day to Mexico (Key West FL, Cozumel, Cancun).

The NCL ship was also homeported in Houston Texas (1998-2001, 2003-2005), NYC New York (2001-2003), PhilaPort-Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (2003 Sept-Oct, for 7-day roundtrips to Bermuda).

In 2005, SuperStar Libra was homeported in Mumbai India, offering short breaks targeting predominantly the domestic market, as well as fly-cruises for foreigners. In summer 2006, the ship was homeported in Valletta Malta and operated Mediterranean voyages (7- to 12-day itineraries) visiting ports in Italy, Croatia,Greece, Turkey, Egypt). In the period 2007-2011, the ship was homeported in Keelung Taiwan for Asian voyages visiting Hong Kong and ports in Japan. In 2008 were introduced itineraries to Singapore and Malaysia. In 2011-2013 the ship was homeported in Georgetown (Penang Malaysia). In 2015 were introduced cruises in China out of Xiamen. In 2016, from Penang were offered short breaks to Thailand (1- to 3-night roundtrips).

In 2017, Star Cruises homeported SuperStar Libra in three Southeast Asian cities - Georgetown-Penang, Klang-Kuala Lumpur, and Phuket Thailand.

On December 4, 2019, Columbia Cruise Services Ltd (Hamburg Germany-based) was contracted by Genting Group as ship management company for SuperStar Libra. Columbia Cruise Services specializes in managing cruise passenger vessels and mega-yachts. The deal with Columbia was for providing food and beverage, housekeeping, logistics, purchasing and administrative services.

In 2018-2020, the cruise liner was permanently berthed in Wismar Germany and used as ship hotel for MV WERFTEN Wismar Shipyard personnel (yard workers and contractors) involved in GHK's Global-Class shipbuilding project (MS Global Dream) scheduled for completion in 2020.

During the first drydock refurbishment (in 1997), the vessel was renamed "Norwegian Sea" and received NCL's new livery and logo. The next drydocking projects were conducted in 2003 (in Bremerhaven Germany by Lloyd Werft), in 2005 (in Singapore by Sembcorp Marine's Sembawang, after which was renamed SuperStar Libra), and in 2013 (Singapore).

The ship is powered by SULZER marine diesel engines (model 9ZAL40S) with total power output 18,48 MW.

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