Crystal Cruises said it “extended by one day” a cruise that diverted its final destination in Miami to disembark passengers in the Bahamas rather than face arrest.
The company said in a statement provided to TradeWinds that the passengers disembarked from the 940-berth Crystal Symphony (built 1995) on Sunday and were provided transportation to local airports and to the Port of Miami.
Satellite tracking data from VesselsValue shows the ship is moored off Bimini, as TradeWinds has reported. The cruise ship had been due to arrive in Miami over the weekend.
Genting Group, a Malaysia-based leisure company, operates a ferry between its Resorts World Bimini and PortMiami.
“This end to the cruise was not the conclusion to our guests’ vacation we originally planned for,” the company said. “Crystal’s guests are among the most passionate and loyal in the cruise industry and we thank them for their patience and understanding during this challenging time.”
As TradeWinds reported on Friday, a unit of bunker supplier Peninsula Petroleum had secured an order from a US federal judge to arrest the ship at the port.
That emerged after parent Genting Hong Kong filed for liquidation in Bermuda, where Genting Group-controlled cruise company is registered.
Elio Pace, a musician who boarded the ship in Dominica on 18 January, said on social media that he found out the next day that Genting Hong Kong had gone into liquidation and that the Crystal Symphony would cease to sail once it reached Miami.
Then on Friday, after arrangements were set for disembarking passengers in crew in Miami, the captain announced that the ship was sailing to Bimini instead. That was the second night of Pace’s performance of Billy Joel tunes on the vessel.
“Would you believe me if I told you that the reason for this last-minute rerouting was because there is a warrant out for the arrest of this ship?” he asked on Facebook and Twitter.
“Would you believe me?”
In its lawsuit in the US federal court in Miami, Peninsula Petroleum Far East is seeking $3.5m for unpaid fuel deliveries. It is represented by Baltimore law firm Simms Showers and Blanck & Cooper.
“Our client is determined to recover,” Simms Showers lawyer Stephen Simms told Bloomberg, though he said he believed the ship would not ultimately arrive in Miami.