Concerning a US warrant regarding unpaid fuel bills of about $4.6 million, two Crystal Cruise ships named the Crystal Symphony and Crystal Serenity were arrested and taken into custody near Freeport in the Bahamas on Friday, per news sources.
Voyages of Crystal Symphony and Crystal Serenity had ended a month ago, so there were no passengers on these ships when the seizure happened, but crew members had been escorted safely and released.
The Crystal Serenity was scheduled to take approximately 200 guests on an expedition for three and a half months. However, two days after departing from Miami, on 17 January, it announced the suspension of operations through April and canceled many port calls.
A company spokesman mentioned that guests were told that the ship would end the cruise in Aruba, but local officials did not permit the ship to dock as scheduled. Hence, it was diverted to Bimini. Afterward, the cruise line ferried passengers to Fort Lauderdale and took them to hotel rooms on Monday night.
The Symphony was supposedly going to dock on 22 Jan in Miami, but it was diverted to the Bahamas in an attempt to escape the US warrant. Crystal Symphony owes about $1.2 million of $4.6 million in terms of unpaid fuel fees.
Crystal Cruises has temporarily paused operations for Ocean and Expedition Cruises till 29 April this year and through May for River cruises.
Genting Hong Kong, the parent company, has been struggling with the ill-effects of the ongoing pandemic. Sometime last month, one of the company’s shipyards in Germany sought bankruptcy protection.