Crystal Cruises will temporarily suspend operations following the bankruptcy of its parent company, Genting Hong Kong, the line announced late Wednesday.
All future ocean cruises aboard Crystal are canceled through April 29, 2022. All river cruises are suspended through the end of May 2022.
Crystal Symphony, Crystal Serenity and Crystal’s new expedition vessel, Crystal Endeavor are currently sailing. They will return to port and disembark passengers in Miami, Aruba and Ushuaia, Argentina, respectively.
Crystal said in a note to passengers it is working on plans to bring passengers home at the conclusion of its current sailings.
“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 President Jack Anderson said in an emailed statement. “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.”
Crystal Cruises had suspended the ability to make reservations for most cruises on its website late Wednesday afternoon. Itineraries now say “Call for Availability” when selected.
According to the statement, the cruise line is notifying guests. Crystal Cruises will provide a full refund of cruise fare paid, which will be processed automatically to the original form of payment, according to the statement. Booked passengers need take no action. If guests paid with a future cruise credit, full value of that credit will be returned to their Crystal Society profile account.
It is a difficult position for the luxury line, which was founded in 1988 with a single vessel — the retired Crystal Harmony.
The entire crew will be disembarked and sent home
In a letter sent to the shipboard employees, the company said that they are working on details of laying up the three ocean going ships after conclusion of their current voyages. Crystal Cruises is working on plans and timing to disembark the crew and return them to their home countries.
In an email addressed to the Crystal Cruises crew President Jack Anderson said “From the bottom of my heart, thank you for your tireless dedication and devotion to Crystal and your understanding in this very difficult situation. You are the heart and soul of the Crystal Family. We look forward to returning to the world’s oceans and rivers later this year”
Genting Group Went Bankruptcy After Failure of Company Shipyards
Genting, which also owns Asia-based lines Star Cruises and Dream Cruises, was hoping for an $88 million “backstop facility” — a form of insurance to prevent a company’s collapse — from the German government after Genting-owned shipyards Lloyd Werft and MV Werften, which built Crystal Endeavor along with Dream Cruises’ under-construction Global Dream, declared bankruptcy January 10.
However, Genting issued a statement which seemed to confirm the cruise side of the business would be protected:
“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.”
Yet despite the reassurances, it was not clear how Genting or its subsidiaries will operate without cash flow. The company was predicted to run out of cash by the end of this month.
Genting Group is trying to restructure the company to allow for restarted cash flow at a court hearing January 20 in Bermuda.
All trading in the group’s shares in Hong Kong is suspended.