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Wednesday,  June 19, 2024 6:10 AM 

Crystal Symphony diverts to Bahamas with 700 aboard to avoid arrest warrant

  • Cruises
  •   01-24-2022  7:22 am
  •   Pax Global Media

Crystal Symphony diverts to Bahamas with 700 aboard to avoid arrest warrant
Crystal Symphony. (Crystal Cruises)
Pax Global Media

A Crystal Cruises ship with more than 700 passengers on board was diverted from a scheduled stop in Florida to the Bahamas over the weekend after an arrest warrant was issued due to an unpaid fuel bill amounting to more than $1 million dollars, according to reports.

Crystal Symphony was set to return to Miami on Saturday (Jan. 22) following a 14-day Caribbean voyage, but instead was re-routed to Bimini in the Bahamas to avoid facing a warrant that would have resulted in the ship being seized if it had docked in Florida, Bloomberg reported.

The seizure would reportedly have gone towards repaying a $1.2 million fuel bill, which is owed by Crystal’s parent company, Genting Hong Kong Ltd.

The warrant stems from a lawsuit filed by Peninsula Petroleum Far East Wednesday against Crystal Cruises and Star Cruises Limited, as per USA Today.

Due to the unexpected change, passengers on board Crystal Symphony reportedly had to wait overnight Saturday to be transported by a ferry to Fort Lauderdale, The Daily Mail reported, which resulted in some travellers being forced to make last-minute plans after their arrival time was delayed by at least a day.   

Financial trouble 

The incident only added to Crystal’s woes as its operator, last week, filed for provisional liquidation and announced a potential plan to shut down several operations worldwide.

Genting Hong Kong, which, like many travel companies, has struggled financially during the COVID-19 pandemic, reported a $1.7 million loss in May.

In a filing to the Hong Kong exchange last Wednesday (Jan 19), Genting revealed that it will “imminently be unable to pay its debts as they fall due,” as liquidity dries up.

READ MORE: "We are devastated": Crystal suspends cruises through May amid financial trouble

The operator said it filed an application to “wind up the company” at the Supreme Court of Bermuda, after the company “exhausted all reasonable efforts to negotiate with the relevant counterparties under its financing arrangements.”

All of this paints an uncertain future for Crystal Cruises, which announced last week that it will suspend all future ocean sailings through April 2022, as well as river cruises through May.

Crystal’s ships that are still in operation – Crystal Serenity and Crystal Endeavor – will complete their current voyages before sailings are suspended, the company said in a statement.

“Like you, we are devastated by this action, but it is the most prudent decision in this current business environment,” Crystal's Jack Anderson, interim president and CEO, wrote in a letter to partners last week. 

In a statement later posted to Crystal's website, Anderson implied that the luxury cruise line may sail again one day.

“Crystal has been synonymous with luxury cruising for more than 30 years and we look forward to welcoming back our valued guests when we resume operations," Anderson wrote. "We wish to thank our guests and travel advisors for their incredible support during these ongoing challenging times.”

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