Crystal Cruises suspends operations amid financial turmoil at parent company

Crystal Cruises is suspending operations in the wake of financially troubled owner Genting Hong Kong moving to be wound up as it faces running out of cash by the end of the month.

The luxury line announced that voyages for its ocean and expedition ships were being suspended until April 29, with river cruises not operating until the end of May.

The company said: “Suspending operations will provide Crystal’s management team with an opportunity to evaluate the current state of business and examine various options moving forward.”

Crystal’s three ships currently in operation – Crystal Serenity and Crystal Symphony sailing in the Caribbean and Crystal Endeavor in Antarctica – will complete their current sailings.

Crystal Symphony’s cruise ends in Miami on January 22, Crystal Serenity in Aruba on January 30 and Crystal Endeavor in Ushuaia, Argentina, on February 4.

The line’s president Jack Anderson said: “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 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. We wish to thank our guests and travel advisors for their incredible support during these ongoing challenging times.”

Passengers booked on future cruises and their travel partners are currently being notified.

Crystal pledged to provide full refunds of cruise fares paid, which will be processed automatically to the original form of payment “so there is no further action on the guest’s part”.

If the cruise was paid via a future cruise payment or credit, the full value will be returned to their Crystal Society profile account.

Genting Hong Kong, which also runs Asian brands Dream Cruises and Star Cruises, made a filing with the Supreme Court of Bermuda on Wednesday to appoint provisional liquidators, the company disclosed that it will “imminently be unable to pay its debts as they fall due”.

Genting said: “Certain business activities of the group, including but not limited to the operations of cruise lines by Dream Cruises Holding Limited, shall continue in order to preserve and protect the core assets and maintain the value of the group; however it is anticipated that majority of the group’s existing operations will cease to operate.”

The application is due to be heard by the court today (Thursday) at 2.30pm Bermuda time.

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