After the ship docked in Bimini on the evening of Jan. 22, some passengers disembarked and were put on a ferry to Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Crystal arranged to provide other passengers with ground transportation to local airports, as well as the Port of Miami.

“This end to the cruise was not the conclusion to our guests’ vacation we originally planned for,” Crystal Symphony said in a statement provided to Quartz. The company declined to comment on its pending legal matters.

The fate of crew members that remain on board the cruise ship remains unclear. Pace told the Associated Press that 30 to 50 workers disembarked because their contracts ended, but roughly 400 remained on the ship with no word on how long they’d remain employed. As of around 12:30pm US eastern time today the Crystal Symphony was sailing off the northwest point of Puerto Rico, according to cruise tracking data.

Diversion signals larger struggles for cruise industry

Genting, which first started a casino business, built up one of the biggest cruise companies in Asia by acquiring not only Crystal and Star Cruises but also Dream Cruises, which offers trips from Singapore and Hong Kong.

Genting Hong Kong was hard hit by the covid-19 pandemic, though, and reported a record $1.7 billion loss last May. Its decision to begin the process of dissolving the company came after MV Werften, the German subsidiary that builds ships for the company, filed for insolvency.

In recent months US cruise ships have continued to operate even as omicron outbreaks have forced some to skip stops and quarantine passengers. But it’s been more difficult for liners to resume normal operations in Hong Kong, where public health regulations surrounding covid are stricter. Genting suspended its regional “cruises to nowhere”—which typically last one to three nights—following orders by the Hong Kong government earlier this month.

Its CEO and chairman, Lim Kok Thay resigned as chairman and CEO of Genting Hong Kong yesterday, but still owns stakes in casino resorts in several countries as well as palm oil plantations in Malaysia. He is worth an estimated $2.2 billion and ranked as Malaysia’s 11th richest person by Forbes. As for the Crystal Symphony, it will need to pay its bills or work out another arrangement, such as paying a bond, to evade arrest. “They’re probably not coming to Miami anytime soon,” Karcher says.

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