Luxury line Crystal Cruises suspends operations for three months amid financial trouble

Jan 19, 2022

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Crystal Cruises is suspending operations for at least three months in the wake of a financial crisis at its parent company, Genting Hong Kong.

The Miami-based luxury line announced late Wednesday that it would halt operations in the coming days for all three of its vessels currently operating — Crystal Serenity, Crystal Symphony and Crystal Endeavor — through April 29.

The line’s five river ships, which aren’t currently sailing, also will go into an extended hiatus. Instead of restarting operations for the spring in March, as is normal, they will remain out of service through the end of May, the company said.

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“Suspending operations will provide Crystal’s management team with an opportunity to evaluate the current state of business and examine various options moving forward,” the line said in a statement sent to TPG.

The line added that all three Crystal ships currently in operation will complete their current voyages before suspending operations.

Crystal Symphony and Crystal Serenity currently are sailing in the Caribbean on sailings that end Saturday and Jan. 30 in Miami and Aruba, respectively.

Crystal Endeavor, an “expedition” ship designed for adventurous sailings in remote places, currently is sailing in Antarctica and will end its current sailing in Ushuaia, Argentina, on Feb. 4.

The announcement from Crystal came just hours after parent company Genting Hong Kong said it was running out of cash and soon could shut down a significant part of its worldwide operations.

Crystal Cruises just expanded in 2021 with the debut of a new expedition ship, Crystal Endeavor. (Photo by Gene Sloan/The Points Guy)

Genting Hong Kong early Wednesday said it had filed what is known as a winding-up petition with a court in Bermuda to appoint provisional liquidators who can sell off or shut down parts of its business as part of an orderly restructuring.

Genting Hong Kong, which owns Asia-based Dream Cruises and Star Cruises as well as Crystal, has been struggling financially ever since the COVID-19 pandemic forced a worldwide shutdown to cruising in early 2020.

“This was an extremely difficult decision but a prudent one given the current business environment and recent developments with our parent company, Genting Hong Kong,” Crystal president Jack Anderson said in a statement sent to TPG.

In the statement, Anderson suggested Crystal’s suspension was a temporary situation.

“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 said. “We wish to thank our guests and travel advisors for their incredible support during these ongoing challenging times.”

As of Wednesday afternoon, the line continued to sell sailings as far out as 2024 on its website.

Crystal said the line’s customers and travel agents were being notified of the suspension.

The line said it would provide passengers on canceled sailings a full refund of the cruise fare paid, which will be processed automatically to the original form of payment. If the cruise was paid via a future cruise credit, the full value of the credit would be returned to customers.

In a filing with the Hong Kong stock exchange, Genting Hong Kong Wednesday said some of its business activities including “but not limited to” the operations of Dream Cruises would continue as its liquidators pursue a financial restructuring “in order to preserve and protect the core assets and maintain the value” of these assets during the process.

But it said it expected the majority of its existing operations to “cease to operate.”

The filing did not mention the fate of Crystal specifically.

Featured image of Crystal Endeavor by Gene Sloan/The Points Guy 

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