Bunker supplier Peninsula Petroleum has secured an order in Miami to arrest a Crystal Cruises ship over unpaid fuel bills, but the vessel is expected to stay away from the port.
The company's Singapore arm filed a lawsuit seeking the order shortly after Crystal's parent, Genting Hong Kong, filed for liquidation in a Bermuda court. The move was followed by an announcement by Miami-based Crystal that it was suspending operations.
US District Judge Darrin Gayles, of the federal court in Miami, issued an order for an arrest warrant against the 940-berth Crystal Symphony (built 1995) on Thursday.
Satellite tracking data from VesselsValue shows it is due to arrive in Miami on Saturday, but two sources told TradeWinds that the ship is expected to divert to Bahamas, where Genting Group controls a resort on the island of Bimini and a ferry to move them to Florida.
The lawsuit by Peninsula Petroleum Far East targets luxury cruise line Crystal and another Genting unit, Star Cruises (HK) Ltd.
The bunker supplier, which handles the Peninsula's business east of the Suez Canal, alleged in court that Crystal and Star owe it nearly $3.5m for fuel deliveries in Miami.
The case involves bills for deliveries of fuel to the Crystal Serenity in Miami dating back to December.
And it seeks to collect on fuel bills for bunker deliveries dating back to 2017 for another Genting vessel, the 1,500-berth Superstar Libra (built 1988).
TradeWinds reported in November that the Superstar Libra has been sold for demolition. The ship has been sitting at anchor at Wismar, Germany, as it prepares to be towed to a Turkish scrapyard.
Crystal Cruises' press department did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the lawsuit.
The case, filed by lawyer Stephen Simms of Baltimore firm Simms Showers and Jonathan Cooper of Blanck & Cooper, seeks unspecified interest and costs on top of the unpaid bills.
Lawyers have tapped Louisiana-based Global Maritime Security to act as custodian of the vessel once it is arrested.
As TradeWinds reported on Wednesday, Genting Hong Kong filed a petition in Bermuda to wind up its business after failing to
A hearing over the liquidation of the company, a Bermuda-registered spin-off of Malaysian leisure company Genting Group, was scheduled for a Hamilton court on Thursday.
Genting's liquidator, Alex Whittaker of Bermuda firm Rawlinson & Hunter, did not immediately respond to a request for comment for this story.
It is unclear what that will mean for the future of Crystal Cruises, which is headquartered in Miami but registered as a California company.
The company's fleet includes the 1,070-berth cruise ship Crystal Serenity (built 2003), the 200-berth expedition ship Crystal Endeavour (build 2021) and five river cruise vessels. It is also tied to three newbuildings on order at Genting Hong Kong-controlled MV Werften, which has entered administration.
Jonathan Boonzaier contributed to this story.