The company of Dream Cruises was founded by Genting Hong Kong, part of the Maleysian entertainment group Genting Group. Genting Hong Kong is mainly the company that overseas the cruise and hotelbusiness of the Group and was seperated from the main Genting company in october of 2016, although still under ownership of the Thay family, the mayor shareholders in the Genting Group.
Genting Group made fame is especially casinos and in 1993 they founded Star Cruises, a company that aimed to create a western-style cruiseline in the Far East. One of the most densely populated area's in the world had not seen many serious local cruise-operations and Genting really wanted to change that, tapping into the Maleysian, Korean, Chinese, Hong Kong and Phillipino markets. They started out with rebuilt former Scandinavian ferries, but in just a few years time they added the large 75.000-ton Superstar Leo and Superstar Virgo into the mix, the largest locally owned cruiseships the region had even seen. Genting, as a very wealthy company, was even able to buy the Norwegian Cruise Line in 2000, getting their grip on a large chunk of western cruising as well. After this aquisition, it seemed that they also understood that large modern cruiseships were difficult to operate in the East, so they replaced the most modern large ships within the NCL international fleet and swapped them with several smaller NCL ships that were replaced into Star Cruises. Seven years later however, Genting sold half of NCL to Apollo Management, reducing their ownership even further in 2013 to just 28%.
But they were not done within the larger picture of the cruise industry, as they invested in buying the originally Japanese Crystal Cruises in 2015, as well as a stake in the Lloyd Werft cruiseship-building wharf in Germany. Within Crystal Cruises, they announced huge plans of a cruise-airline, new 100.000-ton cruiseships and a expedition-style branch. In the same year, Genting founded Dream Cruises as an alternative to the never growing Star Cruises and for the same purpose that they had back in 1993, the growth of modern large-style cruising in east Asia. New numbers indicated that there was a huge cruise-boom in the region and as they wanted to create a more high-end line, the kinda 'forgotten' smallish Star Cruises itself seemed unsuitable for that purpose. Again, for Dream Cruises, plans went over the hills and after buying the rest of Lloyd Werft in 2016, along with Nordic Yards at Wismar and Stralsund Shipyards the shipbuilding empire was rebranded as MV Werften. This company was now awarded the contract for two behemoth ships originally for Star Cruises, the so-called Global Class. The ships should be introduced in 2021 and 2022 respectively, measuring a staggering 210.000 tons. For a company that has just been started up, this was a huge gamble. Especially with a just rebranded wharf that had never built ships of those sizes before. But hey, they started out with casinos so that should be no problem.
The company was started up with the Genting Dream, a ship that had also been originally orderded for Star Cruises as Genting World from Jos L. Meyer at Papenburg, Germany. The ship eventually was used to start up the new brand awaiting the larger vessels. She measured some 150.000 tons and was one of the same blueprints as the Breakaway class of NCL, having a lot of similarities. She even recieved the same kind of hull-art that is so much connected to the NCL brand nowadays, but then Genting also still owned NCL at least a bit so that can be explained. But it makes it really hard to spot the differences between a ship of Dream Cruises or NCL because of it.
Sistership World Dream was introduced in 2017, and she had also been originally intended for the Star Cruises branch to be cruising under the same name. As you can see in both intended names for these ships, Star Cruises was planning on distancing from their traditional names that all had started with Star, Superstar or Megastar before. In 2019, a thirth ship joined the fleet as the former Superstar Virgo came over from Star Cruises as the Explorer Dream, starting cruising from Australia in her first season.
Meanwhile, the Global Class of 210.000-tonners was also diverted from Star Cruises and now intended to become parts of the Dream Cruises fleet. Due to the global (no pun intended) COVID-19 outbreak that spread quickly from the spring of 2020 onwards, all world-wide cruise operations grinded to a halt and it became very clear that the planned deliverydates would not be met. Both ships were in their different buildingstages but the pandemic as well as huge financial problems within the Genting Group gave the project massive delays. In fact, for Genting, who had made or planned huge investments into their cruise operations but without the expected revenues out of it now, came in severe difficulties. Because of the pandemic also, the wharf had to shut down in march 2020, only to be saved with German govenmental grands, reducing Genting's total ownership within the shipbuilding conglomerate.
With the world slightly opening up in the spring of 2021, especially in Asia, it is expected that work on the huge ships is still able to be finished, although of course their deliverydates have been pushed back far. Although also future seemed very bleek for Dream Cruises and Genting in total, they seem to be okay for now as they were one of the first cruiselines in the world that was able to sail again.