A giant in ultra-luxury travel, Monaco’s Manfredi Lefebvre d’Ovidio is back in the cruise business.
Having sold a majority stake in Silversea Cruises to Royal Caribbean Cruises in 2018, while staying on as Chairman, Mr Lefebvre d’Ovidio bought most of Abercrombie & Kent, the top-end bespoke travel company founded by Monaco resident Geoffrey Kent.
A&K Travel Group Ltd. has acquired Crystal Serenity and Crystal Symphony plus the Crystal trading name from a Hong-Kong based entity that became insolvent.
The two ships will be refurbished and re-enter service in 2023.
According to industry website cruise-international.com the ships were sold at auction in the Bahamas in June, with reports suggested they had attracted winning bids of $25 million for Crystal Symphony and $103 million for newer vessel Crystal Serenity.
In a press statement, Mr Lefebvre d’Ovidio said: “I am thrilled to start this new chapter and to be back in an industry that has always had, and always will have a special place in my heart… Selling the cruise business that belonged to my family for a quarter of a century was a difficult decision, as I knew I would miss this industry immensely. Therefore, when the opportunity arose to acquire Crystal Cruises, I did not think about it twice. Having next to me my incredible friend and inspiring leader Geoffrey Kent makes this venture even more enjoyable.”
Geoffrey Kent, Co-Chairman of A&K Travel Group Ltd. and Crystal Cruises, and Founder, Co-Chairman and CEO of Abercrombie & Kent, said: “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 the unparalleled onboard service that Crystal Cruises is known for, with the extraordinary tailor-made experiences Abercrombie & Kent has been successfully providing for our guests for the past 60 years, fills me with excitement, enthusiasm and pride.”
FILE PHOTO: Manfredi Lefebvre d’Ovidio (left) and Geoffrey Kent