It was meant to herald a new class of giant cruise ship, but the Global Dream II looks set for the scrapyard even before it sails a single journey.
Holding more than 9000 guests and a crew of 2200, the vessel would be the world's largest cruise ship by passenger capacity. It was being built, along with a sister ship Global Dream, by Dream Cruises. Construction had started in 2018 and each ship reportedly cost $US1.8 billion ($A2.58 billion) to build.
But that cruise line, along with the German shipyard where the vessels are being built, has gone under. Ship builders MV Werften was part of Genting Hong Kong, a company which collapsed during the pandemic. It also owned Star Cruises and luxury line Crystal Cruises, both of which have been liquidated.
A report in German cruise industry magazine An Bord said Global Dream II's half-finished keel will be sold for scrap, and that the fixtures and the engines are also up for sale. The shipyard has been sold to a manufacturer of naval vessels which has reportedly given an ultimatum that the cruise ships have to be out by the beginning of 2024.
While it isn't looking good for Global Dream II, there are hopes of finding a buyer for Global Dream as it is further along the building process. It is 80 per cent completed and can be towed to a new location.
At 208,000 gross tonnes the two ships would have jointly been the sixth-largest cruise ships by size in world; only Royal Caribbean's five Oasis-class ships would have been bigger. The current record holder is the Wonder of the Seas at 236,857 gross tonnes.
The ships were being built with the Asian market in mind and would feature the world's largest cinemas on a cruise, as well as a theme park complete with the longest roller coasters at sea. There were 2500 planned staterooms on board, and each was designed to accommodate families of three or four passengers.
Genting Hong Kong, which collapsed in January, was also at the centre of two farcical "on-the-lam" cruise voyages earlier this year.
Two Crystal Cruises ships diverted from their original itineraries to dock in the Bahamas, in a bid to avoid US ports over unpaid fuel bills.
Guests accused the line of "kidnapping" them after deviations from the original journey.