Abercrombie and Kent/A&K now owns Crystal Cruises and the ships Serenity and Symphony

   June 23, 2022 ,   Cruise Industry

A&K Travel Group Ltd (ultra-luxury travel company owned by Geoffrey JW Kent (1942-born, founder of Abercrombie & Kent Ltd) and Heritage Group (Lefebvre family-owned holding chaired by Manfredi Lefebvre d’Ovidio), acquired the cruise ships Crystal Serenity and Crystal Symphony.

Both vessels will restart service in 2023 after undergoing extensive drydock refurbishments and will both operate under the Crystal Cruises brand which has also been acquired by A&K.

Crystal' two ocean ships, that were under arrest in Bahamian for 4+ months, were auction-sold on June 16th for a combined USD 128 million. According to Richard Horton, attorney & partner at Alexiou, Knowles & Co, who represented the secured financier of Crystal Serenity and Crystal Symphony, the vessels were sold for US$103M and US$25M, respectively.

Manfredi Lefebvre d’Ovidio, Co-Chairman of A&K Travel Group, Crystal Cruises, and Abercrombie & Kent said he was thrilled to start that new chapter and to be back in an industry that had always had, and always would have a special place in his heart.

"Thirty-five years ago, my family acquired control of Sitmar Cruises, building three of the first purpose-built cruise ships, and 30 years ago my family pioneered a new way of cruising. Our goal was to deliver the best experience, pampering guests from all over the world with around-the-clock butler service and extraordinary culinary experiences. Selling the cruise business that belonged to my family for a quarter of a century was a difficult decision, as I knew I would miss this industry immensely. Therefore, when the opportunity arose to acquire Crystal Cruises, I did not think about it twice. Having next to me my incredible friend and inspiring leader Geoffrey Kent makes this venture even more enjoyable."

Geoffrey Kent, Co-Chairman of A&K Travel Group and Crystal Cruises, and Founder, Co-Chairman & CEO of Abercrombie & Kent added that even though it seemed like yesterday, 30 years had passed since the Lefebvre family and he had their first ship together.

"Manfredi and I have been best friends and business associates ever since. The idea of combining the unparalleled onboard service that Crystal Cruises is known for, with the extraordinary tailor-made experiences Abercrombie & Kent has been successfully providing for our guests for the past 60 years, fills me with excitement, enthusiasm and pride."

Crystal Serenity cruise ship

Crystal Cruises and A&K will report to A&K Travel Group's CEO Cristina Levis, who commented that her return to luxury cruising after 5 years brought back many emotions.

"It is an immense privilege to serve these two incredible brands that in the past decades have disrupted the travel industry numerous times. Manfredi, Geoffrey and I look forward to welcoming past Crystal and Abercrombie & Kent guests onboard, as well as those seeking rewarding luxury experiences.”