(CMR) A Crystal Cruises ship with hundreds of passengers and crew onboard diverted from its scheduled stop in Miami to flee from a warrant to impound the vessel over $1.2 million in unpaid fuel bills.
The Crystal Symphony was due to return to Miami on Saturday, following a 14-day Caribbean voyage, but instead traveled to Bimini in the Bahamas. If the ship docks in Miami, the terms of the warrant would allow it to be seized to repay a $1.2 million unpaid fuel bill, which is apparently owned by its operator, Genting Hong Kong Ltd.
Peninsula Petroleum Far East filed a lawsuit against the ship Crystal Cruises and Star Cruises (HK) Limited, owned by Genting Group, and made a complaint Wednesday requesting an arrest warrant.
One passenger tweeted to travel agent Mundy Cruising: “Can you help me change my flight to Heathrow from Miami as we are stuck on Crystal Symphony, which has changed route and is now heading for the Bahamas instead of Miami.”
Passengers had to wait overnight Saturday to be transported by a ferry to Fort Lauderdale after the diversion, The Daily Mail reported.
According to Bloomberg, Genting Hong Kong filed for provisional liquidation Wednesday after a $1.7 billion loss last year.
Attorney J. Stephen Simms of Simms Showers, representing Peninsula Petroleum Far East, said a U.S. marshal and a court-appointed custodian would be prepared to arrest the ship Saturday should it come into port in Miami as intended – but he expected otherwise.
“The U.S. marshal will be there with the arrest warrant if the ship shows up in Miami,” Simms told Bloomberg. “My good money is that it’s not landing in Miami, from what we’ve been told. Our client is determined to recover.”