TORONTO — A much-loved and highly respected luxury cruise line has indeed come to an end, confirming months of speculation and in the wake of recent ship seizures and staff terminations.
In a new interview with Seatrade Cruise News, cruise industry veteran Jack Anderson, who joined Crystal Cruises as interim president in October 2020, confirmed that the luxury cruise line was no longer.
Anderson told Seatrade: “What an extraordinary honour and privilege it’s been to be part of the Crystal team focused on our customers, trying to do the right thing, with utter exhaustion, to the end. They made me proud. I love them all.”
Major credit card companies including Visa, Mastercard and American Express are holding more than US$100 million of consumer money in trust, according to Anderson. He also discusses possible suitors for the cruise line.
As reported earlier, V.Ships has taken over management for Crystal’s two ocean-going ships – Crystal Serenity and Crystal Symphony – as well as expedition ship Crystal Endeavor. A separate company is overseeing Crystal’s river cruising ships.
In January 2022 Crystal Cruises announced it was suspending operations for its ocean and expedition ships through April 29, 2022, and river cruises through the end of May 2022. That announcement followed parent company Genting Hong Kong’s bankruptcy protection filings, after months of rumours for the troubled company. Soon both Crystal Symphony and Crystal Serenity headed to Bimini in the Bahamas, in an effort to avoid the U.S. and accusations of millions of dollars in unpaid fuel bills. Soon after that, Crystal Symphony, Crystal Serenity and Crystal Endeavor were seized by authorities.
According to a shipboard announcement from one of the Crystal ship’s captains, Crystal Cruises employees in the cruise line’s U.S. offices had received termination letters.
Industry reaction to the cruise line’s troubles noted rapid expansion over the past few years.
Crystal has paused its call centre until further notice. In a post on its site, the cruise line says travel agents who reside within the U.S. and Canada are directed to send inquiries to: salessupport@crystalcruises.