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Cruise Ship Changes Course, Docks in Bahamas After U.S. Issues Arrest Warrant

Crystal Symphony's planned return to Miami was to be its final stop after 14 days sailing the Caribbean.

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A cruise ship with hundreds of passengers and crew members on board that was supposed to dock in Miami on Saturday headed to the Bahamas instead after the U.S. issued an arrest warrant over $1.2 million in unpaid fuel bills, the Daily Mail reports. 

The luxury cruise ship, Crystal Symphony, is operated by Genting Hong Kong Ltd. The company has taken a financial hit since the pandemic's disruption of the travel industry. Peninsula Petroleum Far East filed the U.S. suit, which seeks a total of $4.6 million in unpaid fees for bunker fuel for three different Genting-owned ships, including Crystal Symphony.

On Wednesday, Crystal Cruises unexpectedly announced that operations would be suspended through at least April — a decision that coincided with Peninsula Petroleum Far East's filing. "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," Crystal Cruises President Jack Anderson said in a statement. 

Related: A Major Cruise Line Just Dropped its Vaccine Requirement for Cruises Leaving From Florida

Crystal Symphony's planned return to Miami was to be its final stop after 14 days sailing the Caribbean with 300 passengers and 400 crew members on board. Instead, the ship docked in Bimini in the Bahamas on Saturday, and passengers had to take the ferry to Fort Lauderdale. 

Elio Pace, a British musician performing aboard the ship, told the Daily Mail that the change of plans caught passengers and crew members completely by surprise. "That was quite extraordinary, to be in a position to have to perform to people, with them knowing the cruise line has gone into liquidation," Pace said. "This was a shock to everybody when we got the announcement on Wednesday."

A spokesperson for Crystal Cruises told Fox News that the company provided passengers with full-service overnight accomodations and arranged for ground transportation to local airports, but said the company can't comment on pending legal matters at this time. 

Related: These Friends Met on a Cruise and Bonded Over Their Love of Dogs, Which They Turned into a $378-Million-a-Year Business

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