A&K Travel Group Acquires Crystal Serenity, Symphony, Branding

A&K Travel Group Ltd.—owned by Geoffrey Kent and Heritage (the industrial holding company chaired by former Silversea Cruises owner Manfredi Lefebvre d'Ovidio)—has acquired the luxury cruise vessels Crystal Serenity and Crystal Symphony. The two ships will resume service in 2023 after undergoing extensive refurbishment and will operate under the “Crystal Cruises” brand that has also been acquired by A&K Travel Group Ltd.

The backstory: Crystal Cruises closed operations in February after its parent company Genting Hing Kong filed the equivalent to a bankruptcy proceeding. The week prior to Crystal’s offices closing, Crystal Symphony and Crystal Serenity, were “arrested” in the Bahamas. The line’s fleet also included a new expedition ship, Crystal Endeavor, as well as five river vessels.

Luxury Travel Advisor in February also reported that Lefebvre made two offers for Crystal Cruises—one in 2021 and another more recently. It seems that now, along with Kent’s A&K, he has secured the branding along with its two ocean vessels.

“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,” said Manfredi Lefebvre d’Ovidio, co-chairman of A&K Travel Group Ltd., Crystal Cruises and Abercrombie & Kent. “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 ... 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.”

Crystal Cruises and Abercrombie & Kent will report to Cristina Levis, CEO of A&K Travel Group Ltd. A&K Travel Group Ltd. has partnered with V.Ships Leisure to manage the ship’s operations.

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