Silversea Cruises is set to acquire Crystal Cruises’ luxury expedition ship Crystal Endeavor, following the bankruptcy of the cruise line’s parent company Genting Hong Kong.
The 200-guest cruise ship will join the Silversea fleet later this year under the name Silver Endeavor, according to Cruise Industry News, citing industry sources.
The ship is anticipated to join the Silversea expedition fleet in Antarctica ahead of the 2022/23 summer cruise season in the Southern Hemisphere.
Crystal Endeavor is currently anchored in Gibraltar. She was placed under arrest in South America earlier this year, but was repositioned to the British territory in the Mediterranean in the spring.
When Crystal Cruises initially ceased operations in February, it was anticipated that Crystal Endeavor would be the most sought-after asset in the cruise line’s fleet. It’s two other ocean-going cruise ships, Crystal Symphony and Crystal Serenity, are under port arrest in the Bahamas.
They went up for auction this month. Crystal Symphony was launched in 1995 and sold for $25 million, while Crystal Serenity was launched in 2003 and went for $103 million.
Manfredi Lefebvre D’Ovidio, the chairman of an investment company called Heritage Group, who recently sold Silversea Cruises in its entirety to Royal Caribbean Cruises, was reportedly interested in purchasing the Crystal Cruises brand and the ships. The vessels were sold to CSY Ltd and CSE Ltd, with no further details provided.
Silversea Cruises, which has embarked on a major fleet expansion following its purchase by Royal Caribbean, had been looking into expanding its expedition fleet with newbuilds, but will now be able to quickly increase its presence in Antarctica ahead of the new season.
Crystal Endeavor was only launched last year and is one of the most advanced and luxurious expedition cruise ships in the world, complete with a private submersible that serves champagne to guests beneath the waves.
Crystal Endeavor completed an inaugural Iceland season and a handful of Antarctica cruises after being delivered to Crystal Cruises from MV Werften in 2021.
According to Cruise Industry News, multiple cruise lines put in bids for the ship, including brands that were not in the expedition market.
Silversea has declined to comment on the rumours, insisting that such a move will be officially communicated once completed.
“As a matter of corporate policy, Royal Caribbean Group does not comment on market rumours or speculation,” said Barbara Muckermann, Chief Commercial Officer for Silversea.
“If Royal Caribbean Group is involved in a transaction, it will be actively announced in accordance with applicable legal and regulatory requirements,” she added.
Travel Weekly has noted that Jason Liberty, the President and CEO of Royal Caribbean Cruises, the parent of Silversea, previously expressed an interest in buying the 200-passenger vessel.