Crystal Cruises parent company Genting Hong Kong Ltd., which earlier this week suspended all operations over an apparent lack of cash, has ordered its Crystal Symphony ship to divert to the Bahamas today to avoid U.S. Marshals who are waiting in Miami with arrest warrants.
The Symphony, with several hundred passengers and crew still aboard, was scheduled to return to Miami on Saturday.
But a U.S. court issued arrest warrants and seizure of the ship after Genting failed to pay $1.2 million in fuel bills. U.S. Marshals are on site in Miami, but the Symphony docked in the Bahamas on Saturday night. The United States does not have jurisdiction in the Bahamas and its arrest warrants are not recognized, according to Bloomberg News.
“The U.S. marshal will be there with the arrest warrant if the ship shows up in Miami,” J. Stephen Simms, the lead attorney representing Peninsula Petroleum Far East Pte. Ltd., told Bloomberg. “My good money is that it’s not landing in Miami, from what we’ve been told. Our client is determined to recover.”
Peninsula Petroleum filed suit in U.S. court to recover a total of $4.6 million in fuel delivered to three of Genting’s ships since 2017.
Passengers aboard the ship were being taken by ferry from Bimini to Fort Lauderdale on Sunday.
Crystal Cruises announced Wednesday it would pause sailings on its three ships – the Symphony, the Serenity and the Endeavor – through April 29, 2022.
“This was an extremely difficult decision but a prudent one given the current business environment and recent developments with our parent company, Genting Hong Kong,” said Crystal Cruises president Jack Anderson. “Crystal has been synonymous with luxury cruising for more than 30 years, and we look forward to welcoming back our valued guests when we resume operations. We wish to thank our guests and travel advisors for their incredible support during these ongoing challenging times.”