Former Star Cruises Ships Set for Month Long Lay Up in Sri Lanka

The ex-SuperStar Aquarius and the ex-SuperStar Gemini are set for a month-long lay up in Sri Lanka.

According to local reports, the 50,000-ton sister ships, which were formerly operated by Star Cruises, will remain docked at the Hambantota International Port (HIP) during the period.

After departing Southeast Asia, the vessels – now named MV Arius and MV Gem – arrived at the country in late June.

The crews are set to remain aboard during the entire operation, which is said to represent an opportunity for the port and local communities.

“These types of vessels contribute to increasing awareness among ship owners and ship managers, of the diverse portfolio of services HIP can offer,” said Lance Zu, the facility’s General Manager, Commercial & Marketing.

Supporting the local economy, the Hambantota port will supply fresh produce and other necessities for the ships.

The operation takes place “amidst unprecedented political turmoil and continuing uncertainty,” added The Island Online, with Sri Lanka currently facing food and fuel shortages, in addition to an economic crisis.

With Genting Hong Kong collapsing earlier this year, both the SuperStar Aquarius and the SuperStar Gemini were expected to be scrapped.

In mid-May, a new crew joined the vessels after for what was believed to be their last voyages.

Built at the Chantiers de l’Atlantique shipyard in France, the 2,000-guest sister vessels were originally ordered for Norwegian Cruise Line.  

Acquired by Star Cruises in 2007, the SuperStar Aquarius entered service in 1993 and previously sailed as the Windward and the Norwegian Wind.

The SuperStar Gemini, meanwhile, debuted in 1992 and the Dreamward. After being renamed Norwegian Dream in 1998, the vessel was acquired by Star Cruises in 2012.

In related news, a third cruise ship formerly operated by Star Cruises, the Star Pisces, was recently beached for dismantling in Alang, India.

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