MIAMI, Fla. — A second cruise ship diverted to the Bahamas on Monday, avoiding a U.S. judge’s order to seize one of the company’s vessels.
The Crystal Serenity, operated by Crystal Cruises, arrived in Bimini Monday morning, said Barry Shulman, 75, a passenger from Las Vegas on the long expedition, originally set to return in late May to California.
Shulman said he and several hundred other passengers were taken by ferry from the Bahamas to Fort Lauderdale Monday evening.
“I’m delighted to be off that ship,” Shulman said.
The Crystal Serenity departed Miami on Jan. 17, but passengers were informed several days later that the ship had to cancel port calls at last minute. The company announced it was suspending operations through late April, canceling or cutting short itineraries for the Crystal Serenity and two other ships.
One of the other ships, the Crystal Symphony, was supposed to return to Miami last week but also remained in the Bahamas. That ship’s passengers were also ferried back to South Florida.
The arrest warrant for the ships is part of a lawsuit over $4.6 million in what the suit said is unpaid fuel. A federal judge issued the warrant for the ship Jan. 20, a maritime practice in which a U.S. Marshal boards a vessel and takes charge of it once it enters U.S. waters.
Crystal Cruises did not immediately respond to an email seeking comment about the lawsuit or ships.