A&K Travel Group Ltd. has bought the former Crystal Cruises and two of its ships. The group plans to relaunch the luxury cruise line in 2023.
A&K Travel Group Ltd., or Abercrombie and Kent, a luxury travel company based in Great Britain has bought the former Crystal Cruises and two of its ships. A&K Travel Group is owned by Geoffrey Kent and Heritage (chaired by Manfredi Lefebvre d’Ovidio who is the former owner of Silversea Cruises, a family business which he sold to Royal Caribbean Group in 2018.
“I am thrilled to start this new chapter and to be back in an industry that has always had, and always will have a special place in my 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,” said Manfredi Lefebvre d’Ovidio, Co-Chairman of A&K Travel Group Ltd., Crystal Cruises and Abercrombie & Kent.
Now the new Crystal Cruises start up has made an offer of $13 million to a Florida court to buy the Crystal Cruises brand, customer list, domain names, social media accounts and other associated assets of the former luxury brand.
A&K Travel group recently also purchased two of Crystal Cruises luxury ships. Crystal Symphony and Crystal Serenity were chained when Crystal Cruises went bankrupt in early 2022. Crystal Symphony (built in 1995) was purchased for $25 million and Crystal Serenity (built in 2000) for $103 million.
The two ships will return to service in 2023 after extensive refurbishment and will operate under the same Crystal Cruises brand.
Meanwhile luxury cruise line Silversea Cruises has aquired Crystal Endeavor. The 200-guest luxury expedition ship was delivered to Crystal Cruises from MV Werften in 2021 and completed an inaugural Iceland season and a handful of Antarctica cruises before Crystal ceased operations.