TORONTO — The end for Crystal Cruises, though not unexpected given parent company’s Genting Hong Kong’s bankruptcy filings late last month, appears to have come even sooner than many in the industry might have guessed.
According to a shipboard announcement from one of the Crystal ship’s captains, posted on @CrewCenter’s Twitter feed, Crystal Cruises employees in the cruise line’s U.S. offices have received termination letters, with shutdown expected by the end of this week.
Here is the transcript of the Captain’s announcement to the crew, from @CrewCenter’s tweet posted last night:
“I have been waiting for a statement from our President [Jack Anderson] but so far I haven’t heard from that side.
“I’ve been informed that the office in the U.S., Crystal Cruises, is closing down. All of them got their termination letter yesterday afternoon. Most of them have their last day in the office tomorrow. There’s a few that will stay until Friday.
“I don’t have a lot of information, this is already coming out in the media, so this is why I’m telling you what’s going on.
“The latest we’ve received is that V.Ship is going to be our new management company, that had been appointed by the banks.
“And what’s going to happen now and coming ahead, I have no clue. We are expecting a letter from Jack, our President, and I will share that with you as soon as I get it.
“As we get more information I will share with you as much as I can.
“Unfortunately this is the end of Crystal Cruises, and we don’t know what is going to happen in the future.
“I think the ships are for sale, until then [ship management company] V.Ships will be our management company.
“I know you probably have a lot of questions but unfortunately I don’t have any answers right now. As soon as I have information I will share that with you.”
Last night’s post from @CrewCenter follows on a Feb. 5 post, another shipboard announcement, from Crystal Symphony’s captain, notifying the crew that the ship had been seized. Crystal Serenity was also seized, as was expedition ship, Crystal Endeavor.
Following Genting Hong Kong’s bankruptcy protection filings in January 2021, following months of rumours for the troubled company, 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.
Crystal Cruises had previously announced it was suspending operations for its ocean and expedition ships through April 29, 2022, and river cruises through the end of May 2022.
Industry reaction to the cruise line’s troubles noted rapid expansion over the past few years, including the new venture into river cruising against competitors with many more years of experience.
Crystal says it will provide a full refund of cruise fare paid, which will be processed automatically to the original form of payment so there is no further action on the guest’s part. If the cruise was paid via a Future Cruise Payment or Credit, the full value will be returned to their Crystal Society profile account.
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.