(5:45 a.m. EDT) -- A&K Travel Group Ltd has confirmed the purchase of ex-Crystal Cruises ships Crystal Serenity and Crystal Symphony.
The two ships will resume service in 2023 after extensive refurbishment and will operate under the Crystal Cruises brand, which has also been acquired by A&K Travel Group Ltd.
A&K is owned by Geoffrey Kent and Heritage, the industrial holding company chaired by Manfredi Lefebvre d'Ovidio -- the ex-owner of Silversea, now owned by Royal Caribbean Group.
"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," said Lefebvre d’Ovidio, Co-Chairman of A&K Travel Group Ltd., Crystal Cruises and Abercrombie & Kent.
Referring to the sale of Silversea, he added: "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."
Crystal Cruises went bust in January this year following the collapse of parent company Genting, and there has been much speculation about what will happen to the ships ever since. Its smallest oceangoing vessel, Crystal Esprit, was sold to Lindblad Expeditions last fall and Silversea is rumored to have bought Crystal Endeavor, and will rename it Silversea Endeavor.
Crystal Cruises and Abercrombie & Kent will report to Cristina Levis, CEO of A&K Travel Group Ltd., who commented: "It is an immense privilege to serve these two incredible brands that in the past decades have disrupted the travel industry numerous times. Manfredi, Geoffrey and I look forward to welcoming past Crystal and Abercrombie & Kent guests onboard, as well as those seeking rewarding luxury experiences."