Cruise Saudi has emerged as the buyer of Genting Hong Kong’s giant cruise ship World Dream (built 2017) that TradeWinds reported on Monday as having been sold at auction in Singapore.

Cruise industry sources in Singapore report that the 150,700-gt cruise ship, which was delivered to Cruise Saudi on 28 February, was renamed Manara during the course of the past week.

Owned by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund, Cruise Saudi is an entity that is working to put Saudi Arabia on the global cruise map by working with the country’s ministries and regulatory authorities to build the offshore and onshore cruise ecosystem.

The organisation’s chief executive Lars Clasen, an industry veteran who has held management roles in companies such as The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection and AIDA Cruises, confirmed the purchase in a media statement on Thursday.

Clasen said the World Dream’s purchase was in line with the company’s strategy and direction to build and develop the cruise industry in Saudi Arabia.

“The ship has been renamed to reflect its new ownership and will now undergo a refit,” he said.

Clasen provided few other details about Cruise Saudi’s plans for its first cruise ship, saying these would be announced at a later date.

The vessel database of DNV, which classes the vessel, shows that the ship’s technical management has been switched to Columbia Cruise Services from V.Ships Leisure, which managed the ship during its time in lay-up after being arrested by KfW IPEX-Bank in March 2022.