The Taipan has found a new home in OM Ships, a Germany-based religious organization famous for its floating bookshops.
According to a statement on its website, the Christian charity is in the process of acquiring the vessel, which was previously operated by Genting’s Star Cruises brand.
The vessel’s sister ship was the Crystal Esprit, which has since been acquired by Lindblad Expeditions
Currently docked in Malaysia, The Taipan was built in the late 1980s and is considered a mega yacht. The 3,370-ton vessel has capacity to 64 guests at double occupancy, according to the Global Cruise Ship Index by Cruise Industry News, and also sailed as the Genting World and the MegaStar Aries.
The acquisition comes at a reasonable price and will be completed with generous financial support from Germany, OM said.
The vessel will be taken over with a complete inventory of furniture – including a full galley, fully equipped guest and crew cabins, workshops, cafe, dining room, infirmary and offices with associated accessories, the organization added.
Set to be renamed Doulos Hope, The Taipan will be rebuilt in a yet-to-be-named shipyard in Asia.
Work is expected to take 12 to 18 months and includes the installation of a bookshop and a wastewater treatment plant, in addition to the conversion of some cabins.
The move will allow OM to expand its operations to two ships, with the Doulos Hope becoming the fifth vessel in the organization 51-year history.
The charity currently operates the Logos Hope, a 1973-built former cruise ferry on world voyages that typically visit 15 to 18 port cities per year.
During the calls, the vessel’s bookshop is opened to the public, while its volunteer crew provides local population with what OM calls “very practical support.”
Work includes help to build wells, setting up libraries and relief after disasters, in addition to religious missions.
With the second vessel, it will be possible to visit 10 to 12 additional ports per year, OM said, noting that the new ship is also smaller, which will allow visits to remote, smaller port cities.
“Through our work, we want to build lasting, high-quality relationships and increase our community involvement while reaching out to new regions,” said Seelan Govender, Director of OM Ship Outreach.
“Therefore, we urgently need to expand our fleet. If we operate multiple ships, we can stay longer and come back sooner,” he added.
In the search for a suitable ship, OM employees are said to have examined several ships that are currently on the market, the group said.
The Taipan was inspected by the organization in February and April. The team that visited the vessel included ship engineers and a captain and was said to be “very impressed” with it.