A decision to not dock its ships in the US and, instead, reroute them to the Bahamas hasn’t helped Genting Hong Kong. According to reports, authorities there have taken the Crystal Symphony and its sister ship, Crystal Serenity, into custody. As a result, hundreds of passengers have had to figure out how to return home. Both ships belong to Crystal Cruises, a Genting Hong Kong subsidiary.
Genting Hong Kong Scrambles
After Peninsula Petroleum Far East filed an injunction in federal court, the Symphony, which was due to dock in Miami, on January 22, had been moved to the Bahamas. Peninsula Petroleum claimed that $1.2 million of the $3.4 million fuel bill it was owed by Genting Hong Kong’s Crystal Cruises and Star Cruises was for Crystal Symphony fuel.
A Miami federal judge signed an arrest warrant against the Crystal Symphony. This forced the ship to go to the Bahamas, not Miami. Last week, the Crystal Serenity was also diverted to the Bahamas. Each ship’s passengers were taken to Port Everglades.
James Walker, an attorney from Cruise Law News, first reported their arrest on Saturday. CrewCenter also posted an announcement from the captain of Crystal Symphony that same day. The captain stated, “The ship has been placed under arrest by the local authorities over some unpaid bills, and as bad as it sounds, it’s actually quite a good thing that happen. We’ve been told that this will not affect any personnel movement. So, the crew movement and crew sign-offs can still go as planned, and we are in the process of preparing this. So, this is unfortunate news, but this was actually quite expected.”
Crystal Cruises in Turbulent Waters
Vance Gulliksen, a Crystal Cruises spokesperson, said on Saturday through an email sent to Cruise Law News, “We are unable to comment on pending legal matters at this time. Crystal Serenity and Crystal Symphony’s voyages ended last month and there are no guests on board.
He explained that officers and crew are being looked after and are staying in single accommodations, some of which can be guest staterooms. He said the company wanted them to feel comfortable and be able to enjoy all the amenities on board. Crew members were paid their January wages, and Crystal reportedly met and Gulliksen added that the company is “meeting and exceeding all contractual obligations.”
Genting Hong Kong declared on January 19 that it would not be able to pay its debts. Following recent developments at Genting Hong Kong, Crystal has temporarily halted operations for its Ocean, Expedition, and River Cruises until April 29, 2022, and May 20, 2022, respectively.