Authorities have taken two Crystal Cruises ships, which were diverted to Bahamas to avoid an American warrant for unpaid warrants.
Authorities have taken two Crystal Cruises ships, which were diverted to the Bahamas to avoid an American warrant for unpaid warrants.
Authorities near Freeport, Bahamas boarded the Crystal Symphony and Crystal Serenity Friday night to investigate a US warrant for unpaid fuel bills at least $4.6million according to Daily Mail .
The seizure did not result in any passengers being on board the ships, but crew members were taken off the ship and freed.
Crystal Serenity was initially scheduled to carry around 200 passengers on a three and a half month expedition. However, two days after departing Miami on January 17, the company announced that it would cease operations until April. Since then, the ship has made several port calls.
The ship would dock in Aruba at the end of the cruise, according to passengers. However, local officials refused to allow the ship to dock on this weekend so the ship was diverted towards Bimini, a company spokesperson said. The cruise line took the passengers to Fort Lauderdale, where they were taken to their hotel rooms Monday night.
The Crystal Symphony was supposed return to Miami on January 22, but it changed course to Bimini instead. It also offloaded and transported passengers to Fort Lauderdale.
The warrant was issued by a federal judge on Jan. 20, to the Crystal Symphony. He is overseeing a lawsuit in which the cruise line is accused of not paying $4.6 million fuel costs. U.S. Marshals are authorized to board a vessel and take charge once it approaches the U.S. coast. The maritime order allows U.S. Marshals to board vessels and take control once they approach the U.S. coast.
It is not clear how the U.S. The Marshals took control of the two ships, as they don’t have jurisdiction in the Bahamas.
The U.S. Fox News reached out to Marshals for comment but they did not immediately respond.
The company announced that it would suspend operations until April 31st to give Crystal’s management team an opportunity to assess the current business situation and explore various options for moving forward.
Genting Hong Kong is the parent company of the cruise line. It has been dealing with the consequences of the pandemic for its cruise and shipping businesses. One of the shipyards filed bankruptcy protection in Germany last month.