Just when it seemed that most major cruise lines had weathered the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, the bankruptcy of Genting Group’s Crystal Cruises at the start of 2022 sent shockwaves across the industry.
Luckily for loyal Crystal guests and cruise industry supporters, the majority of Crystal Cruises’ nine luxury ships found other homes within a few short months. As the year draws toward a close, this list provides the latest standings of Crystal’s ocean, river, and yacht vessels.
Crystal Symphony and Crystal Serenity
Crystal’s two elegant yet hardworking ocean ships were both purchased by A&K Travel Group in June 2022 — along with the rights to the name Crystal Cruises. Both ships — the 848-passenger Crystal Symphony and the 980-passenger Crystal Serenity — are undergoing a major refit before their relaunch sometime in 2023. Jack Anderson will serve as president of the Crystal division, with 30 years of experience in leadership roles at Seabourn, Windstar, Holland America, and Carnival.
Manfredi Lefebvre d’Ovidio, co-chair of Abercrombie & Kent, also spent 20 years overseeing Silversea Cruises. “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,” Lefebvre d’Ovidio said in a statement.
The Crystal Cruises website currently lists Alaska, Asia, Europe, Australasia, and the Americas as forthcoming destinations. The cruise line, in its new itineration, joined the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) in September.
The former luxury cruise line’s newest ship prior to ending service was 200-passenger Crystal Endeavour — an expedition vessel that also aimed to pamper guests —launched in summer 2021. Silversea Cruises acquired the one-year-old ship in July 2022. Sailing as Silver Endeavour, the expedition ship officially joins the fleet this month, replacing Silver Explorer for its 2022-2023 season in Antarctica, including the line’s popular Antarctica Bridge sailings.
The smallest oceangoing ship in the Crystal fleet was sold to Lindblad Expeditions prior to the bankruptcy, in September 2021. The former 62-passenger ship has found new life as the National Geographic Islander II, an all-suite expedition vessel accommodating 48 guests on itineraries across the Galapagos. The ship officially began service for Lindblad in August 2022.
Crystal Cruises’ first river ship was retrofitted from an existing vessel, originally built in 1987, and introduced to the fleet in 2016. The double-wide Crystal Mozart now serves as the flagship for Riverside Cruises, a newly formed cruise line helmed by former AmaWaterways managing director, UK and Europe, Stuart Perl. The Riverside Mozart, which can accommodate up to 154 guests, will debut its new moniker beginning in April 2023 on a variety of European river cruises departing from either Vienna or Budapest and ranging from three to 11 nights.
Crystal Bach, Crystal Debussy, Crystal Mahler, Crystal Ravel
The remainder of Crystal’s river fleet have yet to embark on the next chapter of their service. The 106-passenger sister ships, built between 2017 and 2018, are currently docked in The Netherlands.