The two Crystal Cruises cruise ships that remained after the sale of Crystal Endeavour to Silversea, Crystal Symphony and Crystal Serenity, have been sold to unknown buyers. Both ships sold well above estimate.
Considering their age, the ships did exceedingly well in the auction. With 103 Million paid for Crystal Serenity, and 25 Million for Crystal Symphony, it is more than likely both vessels will be sailing with guests again soon.
Two Crystal Ships Sold To Unknown Buyers
Two famous cruise ships that had been under arrest for over four months have been sold off to an undisclosed buyer. The 2003-built Crystal Serenity, valued at 37.5 Million USD, sold for nearly triple that amount at $103 million.
Crystal Symphony, built in 1996, also sold above the estimated $20 million, instead selling for $25 million.
Considering the age of the vessels, the prices paid are well above analyst expectations. However, both ships have been in immaculate condition throughout their time with Crystal Cruises and have long been a favorite for Crystal’s guests.
The buyer of both vessels is undisclosed, with only two shell companies listed as buyers, CSE Ltd. standing for Crystal Serenity and CDE Ltd. for Crystal Symphony.
Richard Horton, who represented the Crystal Serenity and Crystal Symphony’s secured financier, confirmed the news to The Tribune:
“For the Serenity, the total amount paid for the vessel was $103m. The buyer was a company called CDE Ltd. For the Symphony, the amount agreed was $25m for the vessel, and the purchaser’s name was CSY Ltd.”
The Tribune further speculates that the buyer would be a London, UK-based entity. However, those rumors have not been confirmed. Earlier this year, the most prominent candidate to purchase both ships was Manfredi Lefebvre d’Ovidio, the former owner of Silversea.
Since the sale was made known, both the 51,044 gross ton Crystal Symphony and the 68,870 gross ton Crystal Serenity have taken to sea for the first time since February. Both are sailing close to the Bahamas in what is likely a test sailing for the new owners.
Sale and Debt Processes Could Take Many More Months
Although selling the ocean-going vessels that belonged to Crystal Cruises is a step in the right direction, the further process of selling all of the cruise line’s assets could take months, with sorting out who gets paid any financial compensation a process that could take months or even years.
As Cruise Hive reported, Crystal Endeavor has already been sold, with Royal Caribbean Group’s Silversea brand being the likely buyer, although neither Royal Caribbean nor Silversea has confirmed the purchase.
This leaves the company’s river cruise ships that were operating in Europe. These are still for sale, with heavy interest from several parties. The most valuable assets, such as marketing databases from Crystal Cruises, were not covered in the sale of the ships and will likely attract a lot of attention when they are finally sold.
That would leave satisfying those waiting to be paid debts owed by Crystal Cruises. This process will likely take many months, as it will also include the sale of other assets owned by Genting Hong Kong, the Crystal Cruises parent company:
“There’s now going to be a battle over priorities of claims,” one source told the Tribune. “I think there’s going to be a fight there. It’s exactly the way it goes. Once the sale is confirmed by the admiralty marshal, everyone gets around the table to begin to carve it up and decide who gets what and when.”
One thing is sure, the crew members who are onboard the vessel will be paid first and foremost. After that comes settling the cost of maintaining the vessels, and then the banks and financial institutions.