A cruise ship which was sailing on Saturday, January 22, towards Miami, suddenly changed course, towards the Bahamas. The reason ? Arrest warrant for ship issued by US judge over unpaid fuel bills, report The Independent and CNN. If the Crystal Symphony had continued on its way to Florida, it would have been seized by the authorities. The commander therefore changed destination, taking the direction of the Bimini archipelago.

This incredible soap opera, revealed by USA Today, began Wednesday, Jan. 19, when Peninsula Petroleum Far East filed a lawsuit in federal court in South Florida against Crystal Cruises over unpaid fuel bills of more than $4.6 million. Thursday, an American judge issued an arrest warrant, a few days before the arrival of the liner in Miami.

To avoid seizure of the ship, the company then deflected the ship, docking the 300 passengers of the Crystal Symphony in the Bahamas. All cruise passengers were then transferred by ferry to Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. A journey that proved “uncomfortable due to bad weather”, according to a spokesperson for the company at the‘Associated Press. On social networks, many passengers expressed their bitterness after a hectic end to the cruise. “We all feel like we’ve been kidnapped by luxury pirates!” Lamented Steven Heard Fales on Facebook.

On the day the complaint was filed, Crystal Cruises had announced that it was suspending sea voyages until the end of April and river cruises until May. “The suspension of operations will give Crystal’s management team an opportunity to assess the current state of affairs and consider various options moving forward,” the company said in a statement. The two Crystal Cruises cruises currently underway – one to Aruba and the other to Argentina – will go well until completion. Customers who had booked future trips will be reimbursed.

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