The Taipan has found a new home in OM Ships, a Germany-based religious organization famous for its floating bookstores.
According to a statement on its website, the Christian charity is in the process of acquiring the ship, which was previously operated by Genting’s Star Cruises brand.
The ship’s sister ship was the Crystal Esprit, which has since been acquired by Lindblad Expeditions
Currently moored in Malaysia, the Taipan was built in the late 1980s and is considered a mega yacht. The 3,370 ton vessel has a capacity of 64 guests based on double occupancy, according to the Global Cruise Ship Index by Cruise Industry Newsand also sailed as Genting World and MegaStar Aries.
The acquisition is offered at a reasonable price and will be complemented by generous financial support from Germany, OM said.
The vessel will be supported with a full inventory of furnishings – including a full galley, fully equipped guest and crew cabins, workshops, cafe, dining room, sick bay and offices with fittings associates, the organization added.
Due to be renamed Doulos Hope, the Taipan will be rebuilt in an as yet unnamed Asian shipyard.
The work should last 12 to 18 months and includes the installation of a library and a wastewater treatment plant, in addition to the transformation of certain cabins.
The move will see OM expand its operations to two vessels, with the Doulos Hope becoming the fifth vessel in the organization’s 51-year history.
The charity currently operates the Logos Hope, a former cruise ferry built in 1973 on Global Voyages which typically visits 15-18 port cities a year.
During stopovers, the ship’s bookstore is open to the public, while its volunteer crew provides the local population with what OM calls “very practical support”.
Work includes helping build wells, setting up libraries, and disaster relief, in addition to religious missions.
With the second ship, it will be possible to visit 10 to 12 additional ports per year, OM said, noting that the new ship is also smaller, allowing visits to remote and smaller port towns.
“Through our work, we want to build long-lasting, high-quality relationships and increase our community involvement while reaching 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 vessel, OM employees would have examined several vessels currently on the market, the group said.
The Taipan was inspected by the organization in February and April. The team that visited the ship included the ship’s engineers and a captain and were said to be “very impressed”.