A video posted to Twitter shows the captain of the Crystal Symphony citing unpaid fuel bills as the reason for the arrest, before noting that the seizure was “actually quite expected.”
“The ship has been placed under arrest by the local authorities over some unpaid bills, and as bad as it sounds it’s actually quite a good thing to happen,” the captain is heard saying in the video.
In a statement to The Daily Beast, Crystal Cruises said it could not comment on “pending legal matters,” but confirmed that there were no guests aboard the cruises as both Crystal Serenity and Crystal Symphony’s voyages ended a month ago.
“The officers and crew on board are being well cared for and staying in single accommodations, some of which are guest staterooms,” the statement added. “We are making sure they are comfortable and able to enjoy the various amenities on board. Crew members have been paid all wages due and we are meeting and exceeding all contractual obligations.”
The Symphony was supposed to dock in Miami on Jan. 22, but diverted to the Bahamas to escape a U.S. arrest warrant in connection with a civil lawsuit involving Peninsula Petroleum Far East, which claimed that Crystal Symphony owed $1.2 million, out of a total of $4.6 million in total unpaid fuel fees by its parent company, Genting Hong Kong Ltd.
Crystal Cruises has decided to pause its operations for Ocean and Expedition Cruises until April 29, 2022 and for River cruises through May 2022, “following recent developments of Genting Hong Kong, Crystal’s parent company.”