Crystal Symphony, the luxury ship operated by Crystal Cruises (subsidiary of the financially-strapped GHK-Genting Hong Kong Ltd) was expected to be seized to repay USD 1,2 million in unpaid fuel bills in case she docked in PortMiami Florida on Saturday, January 22, amid reports the vessel was being diverted to the Bahamas (Bimini Islands) after a Miami court issued an arrest warrant.
A US marshall and a court-appointed custodian were ready to arrest the vessel in case it came into PortMiami as scheduled (Saturday morning), J. Stephen Simms, the lead attorney representing Peninsula Petroleum Far East Pte. said.
Peninsula Petroleum Far East (Singapore-based bunkering company) filed a lawsuit in the USA district court seeking to recoup USD 4,6 million in unpaid fees for bunker fuel it had delivered to 3 of GHK’s vessels since 2017. A Miami federal district judge issued the arrest warrant for Crystal Symphony on Thursday, January 20.
Simms said the US marshall would be there with the arrest warrant in case the boat showed up in Miami.
GHK became the largest cruise ship operator worldwide to seek court assistance in order to safeguard its assets during the COVID crisis when it said on January 19th that it had filed with Bermuda's Supreme Court to appoint provisional liquidators after exhausting “all reasonable efforts” to negotiate with stakeholders and creditors. The Malaysian holding reported a record loss of USD 1,7 billion in May 2021 as the crisis ravaged the tourism industry.
Last week, the GHK-owned German shipbuilder MV Werften went into insolvency.
For more Crystal Symphony incidents and accidents see the ship's CruiseMinus page.