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Wednesday 16 February 2022

It's over: cruise company officially out of business

Cash-strapped Crystal Cruises has officially shut down its operations. 

A Florida court approved Michael Moecker & Associates to act for the cruise line under an assignment for the benefit of creditors (ABC) filing. 

This specialist company now has control of what's left of Crystal's non-ship assets, its accounts and records and will be collecting creditors' claims for payment. 

This includes the claims of passengers, travel advisors, vendors, shoreside employees and crew.

Crystal said all 238 employees at its Miami base have been laid off. 

"We are taking the action because we will be undertaking an assignment for the benefit of creditors, or seeking similar relief," Crystal said in a letter to the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity and Miami Mayor Francis Suarez.

Interim president and CEO Jack Anderson said: "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."

Two Crystal ships were seized earlier this month in the Bahamas over $US4.6 million in unpaid fuel bills.

The US Federal Maritime Commission is advising customers to make a claim with their credit card issuer, or via their insurer, to speed up processing.

Anderson estimated over $US100 million is being held by Visa, Mastercard and American Express.

Crystal Cruises was headquartered in Miami after being founded in 1988 by Japanese shipping company Nippon Yusen Kaisha. 

It had been owned since 2015 by Hong Kong-based Genting Hong Kong, which subsequently encountered financial difficulties. 

Both brands have now ceased all operations. V.Ships Leisure has been appointed to manage Crystal's fleet of ships.

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