The investment is not a surprise to anyone watching Asia's tourism economy boom, but the ship order does mark the ambitions of Norwegian Cruise Line in the new market.
Genting Hong Kong Ltd., the largest shareholder in Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd., ordered a 1,682-passenger-cabin cruise ship from a German shipbuilder for 707.2 million euros ($960 million) to meet Asian demand.
The new ship is scheduled for delivery from Meyer Werft GMBH on Oct. 12, 2016, the company said in a Hong Kong stock exchange filing yesterday. Genting said it plans to use the vessel to serve China, Taiwan and Hong Kong, where it is based.
The vessel will “enable the group to take advantage of growing demand for cruise business in the Asia Pacific market and the port infrastructure developments in Hong Kong and Asia which enable large cruise ships to dock,” Genting said.
Hong Kong this year opened a HK$8.2 billion ($1.1 billion) cruise terminal on the site of the former Kai Tak airport, as the city’s government seeks to draw wealthy Chinese travelers and become Asian’s hub for luxury liners. The facility can accommodate the world’s largest cruise ships.
Genting Hong Kong owns a 37.7 percent stake in Norwegian Cruise Lines, the third-largest U.S. cruise operator, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Genting is controlled by Lim Kok Thay, billionaire chairman of Kuala Lumpur-based Genting Bhd., Southeast Asia’s largest casino operator.
Editors: Molly Schuetz and Niamh Ring. To contact the reporter on this story: Joshua Fellman in New York at [email protected] To contact the editor responsible for this story: Stephanie Wong at [email protected]