A&K Travel Group Ltd., a travel company owned by Geoffrey Kent and Manfredi Lefebvre d’Ovidio’s holding company, has acquired the luxury cruise ships Crystal Serenity and Crystal Symphony, it was confirmed on June 22.
The Crystal Symphony, built in 1995, was reported to have been priced at $25 million, while the Crystal Serenity, commissioned in 2002, was reported to be $103 million.
The two ships will resume service in 2023 after a major overhaul and will operate under the Crystal Cruises brand, which has also been acquired.
The two ships came on the market after Crystal, operated by Genting Hong Kong, suspended operations in January and closed in February, completing a round-the-world trip on Crystal Serenity just two weeks later in January.
Both ships were arrested by Bahamas authorities in early February for over $4 million in unpaid fuel bills.
“I am very excited to start this new chapter and return to an industry that has always held and will always hold a special place in my heart,” Lefebvre d’Ovidio said in a statement. “Thirty-five years ago my family took control of Sitmar Cruises by building the first three dedicated cruise ships, and 30 years ago my family pioneered a new way of cruising. … Selling the cruise business, which had been in my family for a quarter of a century, was a difficult decision, as I knew I would miss the industry so much. So when the opportunity to purchase Crystal Cruises came up, I didn’t think about it. Having my incredible friend and inspiring leader Jeffrey Kent by my side makes this venture all the more enjoyable.”
Lefebvre d’Ovidio, founder and former owner of Silversea Cruises, is also co-chairman of A&K Travel Group Ltd., Crystal Cruises and Abercrombie & Kent, a luxury tour operator founded by Kent. Lefebvre d’Ovidio bought A&K in 2019 through his private equity firm Heritage Group. Silversea is now part of the Royal Caribbean Group.
“While it seems like yesterday, it has been 30 years since the Lefebvre family and I built our first ship together,” Kent said. “Since then, Manfredi and I have become best friends and business partners. The idea of combining the unparalleled onboard service that Crystal Cruises is known for with the extraordinary personalized experience that Abercrombie & Kent has successfully provided to our guests over the past 60 years fills me with excitement, enthusiasm and pride.”
Kent will co-chair A&K Travel Group Ltd. and Crystal Cruises. He founded Abercrombie & Kent in 1962 with his parents.
Crystal Cruises and Abercrombie & Kent will report to Christina Lewis, CEO of A&K Travel Group Ltd., who commented: “My return to luxury cruising after five years is so emotional. It is a huge privilege to serve these two incredible brands that have…