Crystal Cruises will resume operations in 2023 under new owners, UK Club takes over cover

Crystal Cruises and two of its ships have been bought by private equity operation Heritage Group, led by Manfredi Lefebvre d’Ovidio, and will operate through travel company A&K Travel Group.

The P&I insurer is now UK Club (effective June 15th).

Crystal Cruises had to be sold after the collapse of its parent Genting Hong Kong early this year, when it ran out of cash and could not raise any more.

Crystal was forced to suspend operations at the end of January 2022 and earlier this month the Bahamas auctioned off the line’s two large cruise ships to settle debts.

Lefebvre d’Ovidio acquired 80% of A&K in May 2019, while 20% was owned by Geoffrey Kent, son of the founders of the company.

The two ships, Crystal Symphony (IMO 9066667) and Crystal Serenity (IMO 9243667) will resume service in 2023 after undergoing extensive refurbishment and will operate under the revived Crystal Cruises brand.

The cruise ships were reported sold the week before last by the Supreme Court in the Bahamas, with the Crystal Symphony going for $25m and the newer Crystal Serenity fetching $103m. The brand name and other assets of the cruise line were acquired separately from the US-based liquidators of the company.

Crystal Cruises, launched by Japan’s NYK in 1991, was sold to Genting Hong Kong in 2015.

Geoffrey Kent, who becomes Co-Chairman of Crystal Cruises along with Lefebvre d’Ovidio , said that “the idea of combining the unparalleled onboard service that Crystal Cruises is known for, with the extraordinary tailor-made experiences Abercrombie & Kent has been successfully providing for our guests for the past 60 years, fills me with excitement, enthusiasm, and pride”.

A&K will also be partnering with V.Ships Leisure for the operation of the cruise ships.

1995-built, Bahamas-flagged, 51,044 gt Crystal Symphony was owned by Crystal Symphony care of Crystal Cruises LLC of Los Angeles, California. ISM manager was V Ships Leisure SAM of Monaco-Ville, Monaco. Equasis has it as entered with American Club, but that coverage has now ceased. Its new insurer is UK Club on behalf of Symphony Holdings Ltd (effective since June 15th 2022). As of June 28th the vessel remained at anchor off Freeport, Bahamas.

2003-built, Bahamas-flagged, 68,870 gt Crystal Serenity was owned by Crystal Serentu Ltd care of Crystal Cruises of Los Angeles, California, USA, with V Ships Leisure SAM of Monaco Ville, Monaco, and had been listed as entered with American Club. It too is now entered with UK Club, effective June 15th, on behalf of Crystal Serenity Ltd. As of June 25th the vessel was at anchor off Freeport, Bahamas.