Crystal Ocean Ships Sold; May Be an Effort to Resurrect Brand

Crystal Symphony
Crystal Symphony

Media reports from the Bahamas, where Crystal Serenity and Crystal Symphony have been held since Crystal Cruises’ owner, Genting Hong Kong, filed for bankruptcy in JAN, say that both of the luxury cruise line’s famous ocean-going vessels have been sold for a total of USD $128 million.

However, there was apparently a big difference in the price tags between the two ships, which was attributed mostly to their respective ages and the subsequent costs involved in refitting or updating each ship to continue service under increasingly stringent environmental regulations.

The Symphony, built in 1995, sold for $25 million, while the Serenity, built in 2003, got over four times that price: $103 million.

The identity of the buyers isn’t known, with both purchasing companies believed to be “special purpose companies,” Cruise Week notes, but its report suggests there may be some clues to the possible future of the well-known ships and even the brand.

Crystal Serenity.
Crystal Serenity.

Crystal Serenity was sold to a company named CSE Ltd. Crystal Symphony went to CSY Ltd. The similarity of the special purpose company names (where the C could stand for Crystal and the next two letters represent the first two letters of each ship’s name: SErenity and SYmphony) may indicate they were both purchased by the same buyer, using two companies to limit liability.

That may indicate, Cruise Week suggests, a possible attempt underway to revive the storied luxury cruise brand, bringing both ships again into the same fleet.

However, if that happens, a reborn Crystal Cruises may not include its expedition capabilities, as Cruise Industry News says the almost-new Crystal Endeavor is likely to be sold to Silversea.

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