Giant COVID quarantine cruise ship finally sold for knockdown price of £280m

The fate of the £840 million quarantine cruise ship left to rot after failing to sell at a police auction no longer hangs in the balance after a buyer has been found.

For the last 18 months we have been reporting how the Global Dream ship had been sitting inside a German shipyard before Disney saved it from the scrapheap, along with its sister ships Global Dream II and World Dream.

Global Dream II was waiting to have some of its fixtures as well as its engines ripped out and sold – as it had already been decided that it would not be worth selling whole.

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But the Global Dream ship was still clinging on for dear life, with bosses welcoming bids – which Disney came through on.

All three ships were built by MV Wefrten, with the Global Dream accommodating more passengers than any other cruise ship.

It was later revealed the giant ship had been picked up for a ridiculously low price of just £40million.

But now the third sister ship – the World Dream – has sold for a similarly eye-watering discount.

Valued at around £840 million, the beast of a ship has finally found a new owner who has snapped it up for just £280 million.

  • Buyer 'interested' in £900million cruise ship that was scrapped before first voyage

The bargain buyers are Cruise Saudi, making the purchase Saudi Arabia's first foray into the cruising market.

It has also been given a new name of the Manara, and its home port will be in Majuro, Marshall Islands, once it is officially released from the Singapore port local police based it in.

According to several cruising outlets, it was officially sold by the Singapore High Court on February 24, with notification of the sale confirmed by the court on March 3.

CEO of Cruise Saudi, Lars Clasen said: “The ship has been renamed to reflect its new ownership and will now undergo a refit.

  • Huge £900m cruise ship that holds 9,000 may be scrapped before ever setting sail

“Plans for the new ship will be announced in due time.”

The ship hit the headlines in 2020 when it was nicknamed the “quarantine cruise” after three passengers on board tested positive for Coronavirus.

This saw all 3,800 passengers and crew on the 150 megaton cruise forced to quarantine in their rooms, effectively trapped on the giant ship.

They were eventually released, but it took around three weeks to happen.

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The ship which was previously owned by Genting Hong Kong, first set sail in November, 2017.

Cruise Saudi is owned by the country's Public Investment Fund – the same company that owns Newcastle United.

Clasen was appointed to his role last year, and the new ship is the biggest acquisition in the company's short life span.

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