A&K Travel Group, the pioneering travel company owned by Geoffrey Kent and Heritage (Ovidio’s industrial holding chaired by Manfredi Lefebvre), has acquired the Crystal Serenity and Crystal Symphony cruise ships. The ships were purchased for a total of $128 million.
Both ships will return to service in 2023 after undergoing extensive refurbishment and will operate under the “Crystal Cruises” brand which has also been acquired by A&K Travel Group Ltd, according to a press release.
“I am thrilled to begin this new chapter and to be back in an industry that has always had and will always have a special place in my heart. Thirty-five years ago my family acquired control of Sitmar Cruises, building three of the first purpose-built cruise ships, and 30 years ago my family pioneered a new way to sail.Our goal was to provide the best experience, to pamper guests around the world with 24-hour butler service and amazing dining experiences. Selling the cruise business that had been in my family for a quarter of a century was a tough decision, as I knew I would miss this industry so much. Therefore, when the opportunity arose to acquire Crystal Cruises, I didn’t think twice about it. Having my amazing friend and inspirational leader Geoffrey Kent by my side makes this adventure all the more enjoyable,” said Man fredi Lefebvre d’Ovidio, co-chairman of A&K Travel Group Ltd., Crystal Cruises and Abercrombie & Kent.
“Even though it seems like yesterday, 30 years have passed since the Lefebvre family and I had our first ship together…Manfredi and I have been best friends and business associates ever since. The idea of combining service at unrivaled edge that Crystal Cruises is known for, along with the extraordinary tailored experiences that Abercrombie & Kent has successfully delivered to guests for 60 years, fills me with excitement, enthusiasm and pride,” added Geoffrey Kent, Co-Chairman of ‘A&K Travel Group Ltd. and Crystal Cruises, and Founder, Co-Chairman and CEO of Abercrombie & Kent.
Crystal Cruises and Abercrombie & Kent will report to Cristina Levis, CEO of A&K Travel Group Ltd., who said, “Returning to luxury cruising after five years brings back so many emotions. It is an immense privilege to serve these two incredible brands which over the past decades have disrupted the travel industry time and time again. Manfredi, Geoffrey and I look forward to welcoming former Crystal and Abercrombie & Kent customers on board, as well as those seeking enriching luxury experiences.
A&K Travel also said it has partnered with V.Ships Leisure to manage the ships.