Crystal Cruises’ Two Ships Arrested in the Bahamas
Crystal Cruises’ two ships after diverting to the Bahamas to avoid being detained in the United States have now been arrested by the Bahamian authorities. Crew members from the Crystal Serenity and Crystal Symphony were advised by the captains of the arrest of the ships, as confirmed by a Twitter message from Crew Center.
The Crystal Symphony was the first to divert to Bimini arriving there on January 22 after a Miami court ordered the ship arrested when it returned to Florida at the end of its cruise. A fuel supplier had gone to court reporting that it was due nearly $5 million for unpaid bills for the two Crystal Cruises’ ships as well as older bills for another of Genting Hong Kong’s cruise ships. Her running mate the Crystal Serenity arrived just over a week later after being turned away by officials in Aruba where the ship had planned to end its cruise.
Crew members had sent earlier messages to Crew Center indicating that after anchoring off Bimini the ships were running short on provisions and fuel. Both ships were observed slow speed steaming away from Bimini on February 3 heading north of the Bahamas. Both ships arrived at Freeport on Grand Bahamas Island on Friday, February 4, and were then arrested by the local authorities. The cruise ships are registered in the Bahamas.
In his message to the crew, the captain says that the development was not unexpected. The crew was told that the company is working on making arrangements and that crew sign-offs will still go as planned.
Crystal Symphony Captain announcement addressed to the crew. The cruise ship has been arrested in Freeport, Bahamas. Crystal Serenity was also arrested in Freeport. pic.twitter.com/cdBNyHf4s5— Crew Center (@CrewCenter) February 5, 2022
The cruise line, which had started operations in 1990, had long been a prestige element for its original investors Japan’s NYK Line. Genting Hong Kong acquired Crystal in 2016 with plans to expand the company with new ships, river cruises, air tours with a jumbo jet, and residences. The company launched its river cruise operations and upgraded the two ocean cruise ships while abandoning its air tours and a short-lived yacht cruise ship. Last summer, after delays they launched a luxury cruise ship for the expedition cruise market.
Unconfirmed reports from Argentina are that the expedition cruise ship, Crystal Endeavor, was also been detained after disembarking its last passengers in Ushuaia on Friday. Just before midnight Saturday, the Endeavor however departed for Montevideo, Uruguay, The 20,000 gross ton cruise ship had just completed a 19-day cruise to Antarctica, which was due to be the last to disembark Crystal’s passengers. The cruise line announced it would suspend cruises till the end of April after its parent company Genting Hong Kong filed for provisional liquidation while seeking to financially reorganize.
In related developments, Genting Hong Kong’s Asian brand Dream Cruises announced Friday that it would be indefinitely suspending future reservations on its cruise ship that has been operating short cruises from Singapore. The cruise line said it was continuing the earlier suspension on reservations to give the provisional liquidators additional time to assess the financial situation and develop a plan. In Bermuda on Friday, provisional liquidators were due to be appointed for Dream Cruises, which had also filed for provisional liquidation on January 27. Genting Hong Kong, the parent to the cruise operations as well as casino resorts, filed for provisional liquidation on January 18, 2022.