Cruise

A&K owner and former Silversea boss team up to acquire Crystal Cruises

Industry legends, Geoffrey Kent and Manfredi Lefebvre d’Ovidio have acquired the Crystal Cruises brand and two of the collapsed line’s luxury liners.

Under the A&K Travel Group brand, Kent, who founded Abercrombie & Kent and Lefebvre d’Ovidio, previous owner and current chairperson of Silversea, revealed their plans to return Crystal Serenity and Crystal Symphony to service in 2023 following an “extensive refurbishment”.

The two ships will operate under the Crystal Cruises brand which was also acquired by A&K Travel Group.

The acquisition marks Lefebvre d’Ovidio’s return to the cruise industry following the sale of Silversea, a luxury line founded by his father, to Royal Caribbean in 2018.

“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,” Lefebvre d’Ovidio said.

“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.”

Kent said the ships will combine the “unparalleled” onboard service that Crystal Cruises is known for, with the tailor-made experiences Abercrombie & Kent has been providing for the past 60 years.

“Even though it seems like yesterday, 30 years have passed since the Lefebvre family and I had our first ship together…Manfredi and I have been best friends and business associates ever since,” he added.

Crystal Symphony

Crystal Cruises and Abercrombie & Kent will report to Cristina Levis, CEO of A&K Travel Group.

“The acquisition of Crystal has been extremely challenging but the satisfaction of having this jewel in our family is the best payoff for all the hard work and efforts of the A&K team. Ad maiora Crystal Cruises!” Levis commented.

A&K Travel Group Ltd. has partnered with V.Ships Leisure, a leading cruise ship manager, based in Monaco.

Crystal Cruises collapsed earlier this year after its parent company, Genting Hong Kong, ran out of cash due to the insolvency of its German shipbuilding subsidiary MV Werften.

Crystal Symphony and Crystal Serenity made headlines in February after both made unplanned detours to the Bahamas.

Crystal Symphony, which was set to wrap up its Caribbean voyage in Miami just days after the line suspended operations, fled to the Bahamas after a US judge granted an order to seize the vessel as part of a lawsuit over unpaid fuel.

A few weeks later, Crystal Serenity also headed to the Bahamas after it was denied port entry in Aruba.

In both instances, passengers were taken by ferry to Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale.


Featured image: Manfredi Lefebvre d’Ovidio and Geoffrey Kent (Youtube/Abercrombie & Kent USA)



SEE WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING

Leave a Reply

Wholesalers

Virtuoso uncovers key differences in how each generation travels

Meanwhile, Travel Weekly staff are conducting our own research to tap into the zoomer market by teaching the office dog TikTok dances. It’s not going well.

Share

CommentComments

Cruise

Royal Caribbean Group completes its comeback with all ships back at sea

To honour the milestone, all 63 ships in the group’s fleet sounded their horns at once, which most likely scared the sh*t out of nearby fishing boats and unsuspecting wales across the world.

Share

CommentComments

Travel Agents

Virgin teams up with Flight Centre for money-can’t-buy workshop

It’s the second time a Flight Centre partnership has come up this week and it’s only Tuesday! Skroo must be feeling extra convivial this week.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

“It’s more like a bribe”: Unions slam Qantas’ $5,000 ‘thank you’ payment

Speaking of bribes, if anyone would like to bribe us with an all-expenses-paid trip to Japan we promise to give you a good review on TripAdvisor.

Share

CommentComments

Destinations

Solomon Islands to reduce mandatory quarantine

Good news for those looking to travel across the Pacific Islands! Not so good news for those who enjoy being confined to a hotel room for days on end.

Share

CommentComments

Hotels

Oakwood solidifies Aussie presence with full opening of Melbourne luxury property

Looking to treat yourself? Don’t get a chocolate at the shops, book yourself a stay at the new Oakwood property in Melbourne (or do both)!

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

Flight Centre signs landmark agreement with Rex as pilots prepare for industrial action

While seemingly struggling to win popularity among its pilots, the regional carrier has turned to its agency partners for reassurance.

Share

CommentComments

Cruise

Princess reveals The Real Love Boat crew, celebrates ‘Top Gun Agents’

Say a prayer for the poor souls tasked with wrangling a ship full of reality dating contestants hell-bent on getting frisky at sea.

Share

CommentComments

Destinations

How your clients can skip the rebound chaos with South America

Got clients keen to travel but hoping to avoid inflated prices and hoards of European Summer revellers? We’ve got the answer for you.

Share

CommentComments

Destinations

Events

Top 12 unmissable events for Italian summer trips

Summer in Italy means sunshine, gelato, promenading after dinner, Aperols overlooking the ocean, hiking, cycling…and a jam-packed events calendar.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

Airport queues return in anticipation of the school holidays

If you were looking for a good chance to relisten to Led Zeppelin’s entire discography but can’t find the time, we recommend booking a flight to literally anywhere from Sydney or Melbourne airport this month.

Share

CommentComments

Destinations

Queensland government mulls tourism tax

In response to this, the NSW government will be introducing an ice-cream tax, which has infuriated primary school kids across the state.

Share

CommentComments