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7 Feb, 2022 11:37

Fugitive cruise ships seized in the Bahamas – reports

The captain of one of the vessels said the detention was “unfortunate,” but “actually quite expected”
Fugitive cruise ships seized in the Bahamas – reports

Two Crystal Cruises ships, which have been on the run over huge unpaid fuel bills, were arrested by the authorities in the Bahamas on Friday, the media reported.

The Crystal Symphony and the Crystal Serenity vessels were taken into custody near Freeport, according to the Cruise Law News and The Insider.

There were only crew members aboard during the seizures, as hundreds of passengers had earlier disembarked the ships in Bimini, which is the closest point in the Bahamas to the mainland US. 

A video posted on Twitter has allegedly captured the captain on the Crystal Symphony informing his sailors about the detention of the vessel.

“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,” he’s heard saying in the clip.

The seizure was “unfortunate,” but “actually quite expected,” the captain said, adding that it wasn’t going to affect the movement of the crew in any way.

The embattled operator of the ships, Crystal Cruises, said it couldn’t comment on “pending legal matters at this time” when asked about the arrest by The Insider.

The company only said that both liners had completed their voyages and that the crew members aboard were “being cared for” and have been paid in full.

The Crystal Symphony was supposed to dock in Miami on January 22 after a 14-day cruise in the Caribbean. But the ship diverted from its course and headed for Bimini in order to avoid a US arrest warrant.

Earlier in February, the Crystal Serenity also made its way into the Bahamas after being denied entry to Aruba.

A US judge had earlier ordered the seizure of the ships after a civil lawsuit filed by Peninsula Petroleum Far East against its operators, Crystal Cruises and Star Cruises, which are owned by Genting Hong Kong Ltd.

The company claimed that Genting Hong Kong owed it $4.6 million in unpaid fuel fees, with $1.2 million from this sum referring to the Crystal Symphony’s operations.

Last month, Crystal Cruises announced that they’ll be pausing their oceanic cruises until late April “due to current business environment and recent developments with our parent company, Genting Hong Kong.”