Boston Gets its First Cruise Restart Voyage With Crystal Symphony

Image courtesy Crystal Cruises

Published Aug 23, 2021 9:52 PM by The Maritime Executive

On Monday, Crystal Cruises became the first cruise line to restart operations out of Boston Harbor when the Crystal Symphony departed on her first post-shutdown revenue voyage. 

The ship’s departure was deferred by one day due to Tropical Storm Henri, but this was a small delay compared to the past 18 months of layup. The Symphony's sailing is the first of four from Boston to Bermuda, after which she will reposition to Manhattan Cruise Terminal for a series of eight round-trips to the same sunny destination.

“We are delighted Crystal Symphony has returned to service as the first cruise ship to restart cruising from Boston, now bound for the pink sands of Bermuda,” said Jack Anderson, president of Crystal. “This day is the culmination of months of anticipation and behind-the-scenes planning to ensure safe and meaningful travel experiences for our guests as we welcome them back home to Crystal."

Crystal Symphony is a luxury cruise vessel, and she was built with a high space-to-guest ratio compared with most cruise ships of her size. The sailings from Boston are departing at reduced capacity in order to offer even more room for social distancing. Crystal Symphony also set sail with all guests and crew fully vaccinated, satisfying one of the two CDC options for the resumption of U.S. cruising.  

Crystal restarted its North American operations last month, working in partnership with the government of the Bahamas to launch non-U.S. homeported cruises. Since July 3, the Crystal Serenity has been sailing on round-trip voyages of Nassau to Great Exuma, San Salvador and Long Island.

The North American restart will come as a welcome relief to Genting Hong Kong, Crystal's parent company. The company struggled to sustain itself financially during the pandemic, and in August 2020 it suspended payments to its creditors. It announced in May that it had reached a $2.6 billion restructuring and recapitalization agreement, putting its balance sheet back on a sound footing.