If someone had to take over the Crystal brand, travel industry insiders say, there’s no better candidate than A&K chairman Manfredi Lefebrvre d’Ovidio. But still, there’s a long road ahead before travel advisors and their customers are made whole.
The announcement last week that Heritage Group, owner of A&K Travel Group, will acquire Crystal Serenity, Crystal Symphony, and the rights to the Crystal brand—and last week’s news that it also is interested in Crystal Endeavor—was music to the ears of those who still hope to receive some commissions and sell the line again to its loyal customers.
Serenity and Symphony, purchased from Genting Hong Kong for a reported combined $128 million, are expected to resume service under the Crystal Cruises name next year after undergoing extensive refurbishment. And, on Thursday, Seatrade Cruise News quoted Lefebrvre d’Ovidio as saying, “The logical thing would be for us to have the ship [Crystal Endeavor]. Why take pieces out of it?” Read the rest of this entry »