Crystal Cruises remains “a live company”, according to the luxury line’s UK general sales agent.
Edwina Lonsdale, managing director of Mundy Cruising and its GSA arm The Cruise Portfolio, sought to reassure the trade the line’s future will be resolved after its parent, Genting Hong Kong, filed for a winding-up petition.
She said “hopefully things will become clearer in the next few days” but warned: “It’s too early and too fluid for anyone to take a definitive stance at the moment. The watchword is patience.”
In a filing to the Supreme Court of Bermuda, Genting, which runs Crystal plus Hong Kong-based lines Dream Cruises and Star Cruises, warned it might run out of cash by the end of January.
While the number of Crystal bookings from the UK is relatively low compared with other lines, The Sovereign Cruise Club owner Stefan Shillito said: “It’s at a level where it’s a real concern.”
Lonsdale confirmed customer monies are protected.
She stressed: “My priority is to ensure that everything happens in a measured and orderly fashion rather than a knee-jerk reaction.”
Crystal said last week that sailings of its ocean and expedition ships have been suspended until April 29 and those of its five river cruise vessels until the end of May.
Passengers booked on future cruises are being notified. Crystal pledged to automatically provide full refunds of fares paid “so there is no further action on the guest’s part”.
Shillito said Sovereign had more than 50 forward Crystal bookings, including one for £250,000 made last month for the line’s 2024 World Cruise.
“I’m very confident our clients will go on that cruise,” he said. “We’re very confident Crystal will rise from the ashes. When it does, we’ll be there.”
Alison Earnshaw, managing director of Six Star Cruises parent World Travel Holdings, said staff were working with affected customers on alternatives for “a very small number” of forward bookings.
Earnshaw called for clarity about the line’s future, adding: “There’s still a lot to unravel”.