Middle Eastern buyers have spent an undisclosed amount to buy a cruise ship no longer needed by the Japanese non-governmental organisation (NGO) that had it previously on charter.

The 47,400-gt The Zenith (built 1992) has found buyers for further trading, according to Masters Shipping, the Athens-based brokerage that arranged the deal.

The ship was delivered in Greece, Masters Shipping said. Its buyers are based in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and intend to continue trading it. Vessel trackers indicate The Zenith has already been renamed and will henceforth trade as TSM Singapore.

The German-built vessel used to belong to the Royal Caribbean Group. However, in December 2019, it changed ownership and was put on charter to Japan’s Peace Boat — an NGO founded nearly 40 years ago that organises world-roaming cultural voyages.

The ship was probably acquired at high, pre-pandemic pricing levels but Peace Boat recently found it had no more use for it.

The company informed potential clients on its website that it had to cancel the cruises it scheduled for the vessel in 2022 and 2023 “due to a change in contract with the owner company”.

“We sincerely apologise for not meeting the expectations of our guests who are looking forward to the event,” Peace Boat said.

Peace Boat does not seem to have used The Zenith on any cruises at all.

The cruise archive on Peace Boat’s website does not feature a single trip for the vessel. It was known to have been laid up in the Greek port of Lavrion and, according to Equasis, never left the Mediterranean Sea during the time it was under a Peace Boat charter.

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The sale of the ship now is the ninth transaction arranged during the Covid-19 pandemic by Masters Shipping — a Piraeus-based passenger boat specialist brokerage founded in 1965.

Peace Boat’s around-the-world cruises for the 2022/2023 season will continue to be operated by another former Carnival ship — the 77,400-gt Pacific World (built 1995).