Cruise Industry News has learned that the ex-Radisson Diamond, the only twin-hull cruise ship ever built, most recently operating as the Asia Star gambling ship, has been sold to Chinese businessmen who intend to start a luxury cruise line.

The ship has been renamed the China Star and was purchased, officially, by Wenzhou-based China Cruise Company, which reportedly paid $45 million for the ship.

Operations may start as early as this month.

Reports from China indicate businessman Huang Weijian is behind the deal, having invested $79 million in the venture.

The 20,000-ton ship has 172 staterooms and was originally built at a cost of $250 million by Wartsila (now STX Finland) for Radisson Diamond Cruises.

Built in 1992, the 350-passenger ship sailed for Radisson Diamond Cruises, now Regent Seven Seas Cruises, until 2005.