A&K Travel Group, the company owned by Geoffrey Kent and Heritage Group, today confirmed the acquisition of two Crystal Cruises ocean-going ships.
Crystal Serenity and Crystal Symphony will resume service in 2023 after an extensive refit and operate under the Crystal Cruises brand which has also been acquired by A&K Travel Group.
Former Silversea founder Manfredi Lefebvre d’Ovidio, chairman of private equity business Heritage Group, said he “did not think twice” when the opportunity arose to acquire Crystal Cruises.
“I’m thrilled to start this new chapter and to be back in an industry that has always had and always will have a special place in my heart,” he said.
Kent added: “The idea of combining the unparalleled onboard experience 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.”
Crystal Cruises and A&K will report to A&K Travel Group chief executive Cristina Levis, who said: “The acquisition of Crystal has been extremely challenging but the satisfaction of having this jewel in our family is the best pay-off for all the work and efforts of the A&K team.”
Former Silversea Expeditions managing director Levis added: “My return to luxury cruising after five years brings back so many emotions. It is an immense privilege to serve these two incredible brands that in past decades have disrupted the travel industry numerous times.”
Crystal Serenity and Symphony were sold at auction in the Bahamas for $109 million and $25 million respectively last week to an undisclosed buyer after Crystal Cruises’ owner Genting Hong Kong filed to be wound up in January.
Monaco-based Heritage is the majority shareholder of luxury travel brands Abercrombie & Kent and Cox & Kings and Lefebvre d’Ovidio disclosed in February that he had made two offers to acquire Crystal Cruises.
Lefebvre d’Ovidio sold Silversea to Royal Caribbean Group in 2018 and became chairman of Heritage Group.
Silversea has been linked with the potential purchase of Crystal Cruises’ expedition vessel Crystal Endeavor.