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Monday 7 February 2022

Chaos as cruise ships are seized over unpaid fuel bills

Two cruise ships owned by the financially troubled Crystal Cruises company have been impounded by US Marshals over unpaid bills - and all passengers offloaded.

The Crystal Symphony, and a sister ship, the Crystal Serenity, were taken over by local authorities during the weekend, the Miami Herald reported.

Crystal Symphony, which had been scheduled to dock in Miami on January 24, had been in the Bahamas avoiding an arrest warrant issued after Peninsula Petroleum Far East filed a civil lawsuit in a US federal court.

Peninsula Petroleum has claimed that of the $3.4 million fuel bill owed it by Genting Hong Kong-owned Crystal Cruises and Star Cruises, $1.2 million was for Crystal Symphony’s fuel.

A federal judge in Miami signed a seizure warrant for the Crystal Symphony, which went to the Bahamas instead of Miami.

The Crystal Serenity diverted to the Bahamas last week. Passengers from both ships were ferried to Port Everglades in Florida.

Crystal Serenity and Crystal Symphony had only crew members on board at the time law enforcement boarded.

There were conflicting reports concerning the Crystal Endeavor, the line’s newest vessel. 

One report said it had been seized in Argentina, others said the ship was en route to Montevideo, Uruguay.

Crystal Endeavor docked at Ushuaia without incident on Friday, as scheduled, after an Antarctic cruise and passengers were flown back to the US via a previously scheduled charter flight.

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