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Crystal Symphony Diverts to The Bahamas, Avoiding Arrest Warrant

crystal symphony
File image courtesy Crystal Cruises

Published Jan 23, 2022 6:42 PM by The Maritime Executive

With judicial seizure awaiting upon her return to Miami, Crystal Symphony has diverted to The Bahamas instead, taking 300 paying passenger with her. After parent company Genting Hong Kong applied for bankruptcy last week, an unpaid bunker supplier has secured a federal court order for Symphony's arrest.

Instead of returning to her home port and a certain arrest, Symphony disembarked her passengers in Bimini. Crystal Cruises arranged for ferry transportation to take them all back to Port Everglades, Florida for onward travel.

"Every one of these [passengers] are trying to reschedule their flights," a musician on board the vessel  told the Daily Mail. "There's no panic, there's no tantrums going on, they're taking it in their stride."

Genting Hong Kong, owner of the Crystal, Star and Dream luxury cruise brands, declared default and filed for liquidation on January 19 after its embattled MV Werften shipbuilding division declared bankruptcy. Shortly after, Crystal Cruises announced that it would be suspending operations through April. 

A court in Bermuda, where Genting is incorporated, has appointed the management consulting firm of Alvarez & Marsal to oversee the company's reorganization. It is looking at several options, including asset sales and liquidation, but it still hopes to negotiate an arrangement with its creditors and continue as a going concern.

On January 19, bunker supplier Peninsula Petroleum Far East filed a suit to seize Crystal Symphony for unpaid fuel bills. According to Peninsula, Genting owes about $5 million for fuel deliveries to Crystal Cruises' two ships in Miami and Star Cruises' Superstar Libra in Penang, Malaysia. The complaint includes charges of $1.2 million against Crystal Symphony, $2.1 million against Crystal Cruises, and nearly $1.3 million against Star Cruises Hong Kong. District Judge Darrin Gayles approved the requested order, issuing a warrant for the arrest of the Crystal Symphony when she returns to Miami.