Crystal cruise duo heads for the auction block in the Bahamas

 Monday, May 23, 2022 


The two largest cruise ships in the fleet of failed Genting Hong Kong subsidiary Crystal Cruises will be auctioned in the Bahamas on 7 June.

The 68,900-gt Crystal Serenity (built 2003) and 51,000-gt Crystal Symphony (built 1995) are being sold via a sealed tender process, with bids to be submitted with the Supreme Court of the Commonwealth of the Bahamas together with a 10% deposit.

Both of the luxury category ships have been under arrest in Freeport since 5 February, where they arrived following the January collapse of Crystal’s parent company Genting Hong Kong.

Cruise brokers told TradeWinds that both ships were attractive candidates for premium cruise operators looking to expand or upgrade their fleets. The vessels have been extensively refurbished in recent years and the maintenance they have received has been “top-notch”.

They are described as being of interest to ultra-deluxe operators but are considered good candidates for the companies in the next tier down, who have similar but smaller ships.

Most cruise ship sales over the past two years have been at or slightly above scrap value, as cruise majors such as Carnival Corp and Royal Caribbean have flooded the sales market with unwanted cast-offs.

However, few ships at the luxury end of the cruise spectrum have been put up for sale over the past two years.

VesselsValue pegs a scrap value of $22.2m on the Crystal Serenity and $17m on the Crystal Symphony. The online platform estimates that the former ship has a trading value of $87.4m and the latter only $18.2m.

However, brokers cautioned that putting price tags on the duo is difficult due to the continuing uncertainty in the cruise trades.

If the Bahamian courts can arrange a quick sale of the Crystal Serenity and Crystal Symphony, Genting’s liquidators will be left trying to find buyers for Crystal’s 20,500-gt polar-classed expedition cruise ship Crystal Endeavor (built 2021) and four European river cruise ships.

Industry sources say that these ships, which are all in European waters, are already attracting strong interest from potential buyers.

TradeWinds recently reported that Genting’s liquidators recently sold the three older cruise ships operated by the Crystal Symphony brand for recycling in India.

In March, the German administrators of Genting’s shipyard division sold Lloyd Werft shipyard to a joint venture between marine engineering firm Heinrich Ronner Group and real estate company Zech Group.

Efforts are being made to find a buyer for the nearly-completed 201,000-gt Global Dream under construction at MV Werften, after which efforts will turn to selling the yard.

In Asia, Genting majority shareholder Lim Kok Thay formed a new cruise line, Resorts World Cruises, and chartered the 150,700-gt Genting Dream (built 2017) from a leasing company owned by a consortium of Chinese banks.

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