After much speculation, Abercrombie & Kent has revealed itself as the new owner of Crystal Serenity and Crystal Symphony. Both ships will return to 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.
“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 placed in my heart,” said Manfredi Lefebvre d’Ovidio, who is co-chairman of Geoffrey Kent and Heritage, the industrial holding company that owns A&K Travel Group. He is also co-chairman of the A&K Travel Group Ltd., Abercrombie & Kent, and, now, Crystal Cruises.
Lefebvre d’Ovidio has been expressing interest in acquiring the ships and the brand almost since the first moments it went out of business.
“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. Our goal was to deliver the best experience, pampering guests from all over the world with around-the-clock butler service and extraordinary culinary experiences. 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. Having next to me my incredible friend and inspiring leader Geoffrey Kent makes this venture even more enjoyable.”
“The idea of combining the unparalleled onboard service that Crystal Cruises is known for with the extraordinary tailor-made experiences Abercrombie & Kent has been successfully providing our guests for the past 60 years, fills me with excitement, enthusiasm and pride,” added Geoffrey Kent, co-chairman of A&K Travel Group Ltd. and Crystal Cruises, and founder, co-chairman and CEO of Abercrombie & Kent.
Moving forward, Crystal Cruises and Abercrombie & Kent will report to Cristina Levis, CEO of A&K Travel Group Ltd. The company has partnered with V.Ships Leisure, one of the world’s largest cruise ship management companies, to help operate Crystal Cruises.
More information about the new Crystal Cruises experience, including itineraries will be revealed closer to the line’s return to service.