Aroya Cruises has selected British naval design studio SMC to be lead designer for the refurbishment project on the former World Dream.
Cruise Saudi, the parent company of Aroya Cruises, acquired World Dream earlier this year following the collapse of Dream Cruises, part of the Genting Hong Kong group.
The vessel has now been renamed Manama and sent to Europe for a bow-to-stern refit and refurbishment ahead of her debut as the first ship in the Aroya fleet.
SMC will provide interior and architectural design, branding and art consultancy throughout the refit and refurbishment process.
Along with SMC, Partner Ship Design has also been chosen as a partner designer to handle the design details, documentation and follow-ups as well as engineering support.
“We are delighted to be working with some of the best visionary innovators in cruise ship design for our premium cruise offering, Aroya Cruises,” said Lars Clasen, CEO of Cruise Saudi.
“Working with sector-leading experts such as SMC and PSD will play a crucial role in ensuring that AroyaCruises offers a comfortable, luxurious and inspiring environment from which passengers can enjoy the highest standard of service and facilities,” he added.
Cruise Saudi is a government-backed organisation leading the emergence of Saudi Arabia in the global cruise industry.
The Kingdom has rapidly established itself as an emergent cruise destination, and will now begin growing a domestic home market through the launch of the Arab world’s first locally-targeted domestic cruise brand.
World Dream will be transformed into a showcase for Saudi Arabian hospitality and culture and will homeport in Jeddah, offering yet-to-be-revealed roundtrip cruises in the Red Sea and further afield.
The changes being made to the onboard design and cruise experience have not yet been detailed, with the most eagerly anticipated details being whether the cruise line will serve alcohol onboard, and whether it will feature a casino like most ships.
Alcohol consumption is not allowed in Saudi Arabia, and gambling is forbidden, but there have been rumours that Aroya Cruises will be operated as an offshore entity, creating a legal loophole in which it will be able to offer such services in international waters.
The appointment of SMC and Partner Ship Design comes after Aroya Cruises announced that MJM Marine and DE Wave had been appointed to handle the fit and finish of the interior of the ship, while leading cruise retail operator Gebr. Heinemann will operate the ship’s onboard mall.
Meanwhile Columbia Blue will handle ship management for the new cruise line, including staffing and technical support.