HONG KONG (BLOOMBERG) – Genting Hong Kong’s Crystal Cruises is closing its U.S. office and laying off employees, according to a person familiar with the matter, days after two of its luxury liners were seized for unpaid bills while its parent company seeks to restructure with provisional liquidators.
The employees were fired on Wednesday (February 9), said the person, who asked not to be identified because the information has not been publicly announced. A video of an announcement made to the crew aboard a Crystal ship detailed the news, according to a Twitter post on Crew Center, a forum for cruise passengers.
V.Ships, a ship management company, will be the new management company, according to the announcement. Bloomberg News was unable to independently verify the video.
“Unfortunately, this is the end of Crystal Cruises,” the crew said on the video. “We don’t know what will happen in the future. The ships are for sale.”
Crystal Cruises, Genting Hong Kong and V.Ships did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
The closure of Crystal Cruises’ Miami headquarters follows last week’s ship seizures in the Bahamas. A fuel supplier has sought action for US$4.6 million (S$6.2 million) in unpaid bills.
Genting Hong Kong, meanwhile, is working with interim liquidators to restructure the group.
Crystal became the world’s largest cruise operator to seek court assistance to protect its assets during the pandemic when it asked the Supreme Court of Bermuda on January 18 to appoint interim liquidators after exhausting ” “all reasonable efforts” to negotiate with creditors and stakeholders.
The company reported a record loss of US$1.7 billion in May last year as the pandemic ravaged the cruise industry. Its German shipbuilding subsidiary, MV Werften, became insolvent.
Crystal Cruises said earlier it was suspending cruises until May. Its call center was suspended until further notice and it was still processing customer refunds, according to its website.
Dream Cruises Holding, an indirect unit not wholly owned by Genting Hong Kong, will continue to operate its fleet in Asia.
Bookings for New Dream Cruises have been suspended until further notice, while Genting Dream’s Hong Kong sailings have been canceled until at least February 16 due to the territory’s strict social distancing rules, the city said. company.
When ST contacted Genting Hong Kong to find out how this would affect operations here, a spokesperson said there were no new updates to a previous statement that Dream Cruises would continue to operate in Singapore.