Crystal Cruises owner cashes in chips after 25 years.

As flagged by Asian-Cruise.Com some months ago, Crystal Cruises will be adding another ship to the fleet in 2018.

The way they have achieved that however, has surprised the market.

Current owner, Japan’s shipping giant Nippon Yusen Kaisha (NYK) is selling Crystal Cruises to Genting Hong Kong for $550m. The deal for the cruise line is expected to be concluded in the next quarter. Crystal Cruises will join Star Cruises and Norwegian Cruise Line as cruise assets of the Malaysian-controlled Genting empire.

Crystal currently has two ships – Crystal Symphony and Crystal Serenity.

GHK is part of the Genting Group, a global hospitality and leisure company that counts gambling, or gaming as its primary revenue source aboard Star Cruises.

“Crystal Cruises offers the epitome of luxury cruising and the service standard which all other cruise lines aspire to,” said Tan Sri Lim Kok Thay, chairman, CEO and acting president of GHK. “The current management team and crew will continue to lead Crystal Cruises. Genting will provide financial resources and proven expertise in innovative ship design to build a new ship that will set the highest standard in luxury cruise ships that together with Crystal’s six-star legendary service will reinforce Crystal’s reputation as the world’s leading luxury cruise line for decades to come.”

“After 25 successful years with NYK, we are excited to have Genting Hong Kong as the new owner of Crystal Cruises,” said Edie Rodriguez, president and COO, Crystal Cruises. “The proposed expansion of our fleet will present our loyal Crystal Society members and new luxury cruise guests with more itinerary options, accommodation choices and exceptional vacation experiences, as we continue to position Crystal as the innovative leader in global luxury cruising. Additionally, Crystal’s veteran leadership, management and crew will continue to focus on our award-winning guest service and our strong partnership with the travel agent community – which now has a greater opportunity to grow their business with a larger menu of Crystal product offerings.”

NYK, which has more than 800 ships in its diverse fleet, is now left with just one cruiseship, the Asuka II, which is aimed at the Japanese market and is marketed under the NYK Cruises brand.
Yasumi Kudo’s tenure as president of NYK has seen many non-core businesses hived off. Prior to today’s announcement NYK had said it was on track to post a net profit of $626m for fiscal 2015 which ends this March.

Expect the as yet unnamed Crystal ship to have a larger casino floor space than the Symphony and Serenity.