One of the most luxurious cruise lines in the world is coming to an end. Crystal Cruises employees in the US all received termination letters this week and will no longer be returning to work.
The crew onboard the Crystal Cruises ships received the news through the Captains of the vessels, while no official announcements have been made by the company President or representatives ashore. Crystal Cruises earlier suspended cruises through April 29, 2022, with River cruises suspended through the end of May 2022.
Uncertain Time for Crew Members as Crystal Cruises Shuts Down
Crew members onboard the Crystal Cruises ships operational until recently, Crystal Serenity, Crystal Symphony, and Crystal Endeavour are going through uncertain times.
As news came that the US-based employees had all received termination letters and would not be returning to work, crew members onboard had not received official statements from land-based company representatives.
The Captain of Crystal Serenity made an announcement on the ships PA system, stating:
“I have been waiting for a statement from our President, but so far haven’t heard a word from their side. I have been informed that the entire Crystal Cruises office in the US is closing down. All of the employees received termination letters yesterday afternoon and most of them will have their last day at work tomorrow. And only a few of them will stay in the office until Friday.”
Cruise Hive received news from a crew member onboard Crystal Endeavour which confirmed the words from the Captain, but also confirmed that crew members are being cared for appropriately:
“Everything is still pretty fresh and we will know more in the upcoming days and weeks. One thing is for sure, the crew here onboard Endeavour is treated well and we are all fine. Everything that has been said is pretty much what we know as fact at this moment, but I would not like to speculate more.,” said the crew member who wished to remain anonymous.
Crystal Cruises is part of the Genting Hong Kong corporation, which filed for bankruptcy just weeks ago. Since then, the courts have appointed liquidators to see if there would be any possibilities to continue doing business for Genting’s three cruise lines, Crystal, Dream, and Star Cruises. For Crystal Cruises, this seems to be impossible at this point.
V-Ships to Manage Crystal Vessels
Instead of reorganizing the cruise line, it seems more likely that the banks holding mortgages over Crystal Cruises’ ships will be selling these assets individually instead of selling the cruise line as a whole. The new Crystal Endeavour is particularly interesting for a growing group of luxury cruise and expedition operators.
There is also the issue of Peninsula Petroleum Far East, which obtained an arrest warrant in the Bahamas and the US for Crystal Symphony and Crystal Serenity over unpaid fuel bills.
According to the Crystal Serenity Captain’s announcement, the three vessels sailing for Crystal Cruises will be under management from V-ships, which has been appointed by the banks:
“The latest news that we’ve received is that V.Ships is going to be our new management company that has been appointed by the banks. What’s going to happen now and coming ahead I have no clue. As soon as we get a letter from our president I will share it with you.”
“Unfortunately, this is the end of Crystal Cruises, and we don’t know what’s going to happen in the future. I think the ships are for sale, and until then V.Ships will be our managing company. I know you probably have a lot of questions, but unfortunately, I don’t have any answers right now.”
Crystal Serenity and Crystal Symphony are anchored off Freeport in the Bahamas, while Crystal Endeavour is en-route to Montevideo in Uruguay. V-ships are not an unknown factor for the Crystal crew, though. V-ships already acted as the manning company for Crystal Cruises. They will now likely ensure the ship’s crew are repatriated and a skeleton crew remains onboard for upkeep until the ships are sold.
Crystal Leaves a Rich Heritage
After battling the pandemic and positive results during the resumption of operations last year, this is now the end for Crystal Cruises. Founded in 1988 by Nippon Yusen Kaisha (NYK), Crystal sailed its first ship, Crystal Harmony, in 1990. The current owners, Genting Hong Kong, took over in 2015.
Crystal Cruises seemed to be on track for a bright future until recently. Since Genting Hong Kong took over, Crystal Cruises grew significantly to include two medium-size cruise ships, five river ships, a private jet called Crystal Skye, and an expedition ship.
Neither Crystal Cruises, Genting Hong Kong, or V-ships have made any announcements regarding the future of Crystal Cruises.