Cruise Line Denies It Risked Crew Safety By Sailing The Red Sea

Luxury cruise line Crystal has rejected claims it put the lives of crew members at risk by sailing through the Red Sea. The Crystal Symphony was en route to a Mediterranean deployment after canceling its original repositioning cruise from Mumbai.

Crystal Symphony had a US Navy Escort

crystal symphony
Crystal Symphony (Photo courtesy of Crystal Cruises)

The ship sailed without any passengers and said it was under a US Navy escort in a conflict zone where commercial shipping has been attacked in recent months.

It has strongly refuted claims made by the UK Marine Trade Operations (UKMTO), which posted on X that gunshots were heard after the ship was hailed by an entity saying it was the Yemeni Navy.

Crystal has denied this. The UKMTO manages a Voluntary Reporting Scheme (VRS) covering shipping incidents in the region.

Ship Carried 200 Crew Members, No Guests

Crystal Symphony and Crystal Endeavor
(Photo courtesy of Crystal Cruises)
“At no time during the voyage was the safety of those on board in jeopardy,” said Fernando Delgado, chief product officer of A&K Travel Group. He said the ship was carrying just 200 crew members as all crew had been offered options to leave and rejoin the ship.

The cruise line confirmed it sailed through the Red Sea escorted by a US Navy vessel. It had consulted with “several maritime authorities and government officials before making a final decision.”

Other cruise lines decided to take the long way around Africa to avoid the Red Sea area entirely.

The ship is now in the Mediterranean and restarts scheduled cruises on April 6 from Limassol, Cyprus.

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