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Crystal Serenity Crystal Symphony

A&K Travel Group Buys Crystal Cruises’ Brand, 2 Ships

One of the biggest storylines to emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic was the demise of luxury cruise operator Crystal Cruises. Long considered one of the top high-end cruise brands, the cruise line left behind a fleet of river and ocean ships that many believed would be scooped up by other cruise lines. 

We now know the fate of Crystal Serenity and Crystal Symphony as it was announced today they’ve been purchased by A&K Travel Group, a travel company owned by Geoffrey Kent, and Heritage, an industrial holding company chaired by Manfredi Lefebvre d’Ovidio, the former owner of Silversea Cruises. 

The New Crystal Cruises 

The two ships will resume 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.

Manfredi Lefebvre d’Ovidio commented on starting a new chapter in his long history in the cruise industry. 

“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 place in my heart. 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,” said Lefebvre d’Ovidio. 

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Geoffrey Kent remarked how his long working and personal relationship with Lefebvre d’Ovidio made this partnership the right decision.

“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. 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 for our guests for the past 60 years, fills me with excitement, enthusiasm and pride,” said Kent.

Did you ever sail on Crystal Serenity or Crystal Symphony? Let us know in the comments! 

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Evan Gove is the SEO & Content Manager for Porthole Cruise and Travel's digital department. He covers cruise industry news and writes ship reviews for porthole.com. You can also catch him as a guest on the YouTube series Cruise Control with Bill Panoff. Follow his tweets and posts about the cruise industry from Porthole Cruise and Travel's social media accounts.