Did you know a ship can be arrested? It appears they can, because a U.S. judge issued an arrest warrant for a white, 239 m long fugitive that goes by the name Crystal Symphony, wanted for skipping out on a $US4 (A$6) million gas (well, probably that thick, creamery ship diesel fuel, really) bill. The Crystal Cruises-owned ship was supposed to dock in Miami on Saturday with its between 300 and 700 passengers (reports varym) but it instead high-tailed it to the Bahamas. The ship appears to currently be passing by Puerto Rico towards the Dominican Republic, heading Northwest at about 17 knots.
The ship’s parent company, Crystal, is suspending operations through May, and the company’s statement suggested the Crystal Symphony would be ending its voyage in Miami on January 22 — which clearly didn’t happen.
The statement described the company’s situation:
“This was an extremely difficult decision but a prudent one given the current business environment and recent developments with our parent company, Genting Hong Kong,” said Jack Anderson, Crystal’s president. “Crystal has been synonymous with luxury cruising for more than 30 years and we look forward to welcoming back our valued guests when we resume operations. We wish to thank our guests and travel advisors for their incredible support during these ongoing challenging times.”
They didn’t say anything about running from a gas bill, though.
The passengers got an unwanted, unplanned bonus night of their cruise and the ship docked at the port of Bimini in the Bahamas, where passengers were ferried to Miami, a ride that takes about two hours.
The arrest warrant was the result of a lawsuit from Peninsula Petroleum Far East, which claims Crystal is in breach of contract and owes $US4.6 (A$6.4) million in fuel costs.
What I’m not clear on is what will happen to the ship now. Is it heading to Miami to face the music, or is it going to go on the run, a luxurious fugitive from the law, hiding in the open ocean, challenging Chef “Nobu” Matsuhisa of their Umi Uma & Sushi Bar to work with whatever the bellhops and showgirls from the ship can catch from the sea with makeshift nets made from 600-thread count bedsheets?
If that thing can manage some tight river travel, there’s a ravine behind my house it can lay low in until the shit blows over. I won’t tell.