Norton Rose Fulbright advises on sale and financing of luxury cruise ship Crystal Endeavor

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Global law firm Norton Rose Fulbright is advising KfW IPEX-Bank GmbH on the sale of luxury cruise ship Crystal Endeavor to Royal Caribbean Group (RCL), after the ship was arrested in Gibraltar earlier this year following the insolvency of Genting Hong Kong Limited (GHK) and Crystal Cruises.

The firm is also advising on the associated financing to RCL for the ship’s purchase. The financing comprises a 15-year unsecured term loan, guaranteed by the German export credit agency, Euler Hermes. The ship, which will be renamed Silver Endeavour when delivery takes place this month, will be operated by RCL’s Silversea Cruises division.

Crystal Endeavor was previously owned by a subsidiary of GHK and operated by Crystal Cruises. The ship is being sold as part of a court sale process in Gibraltar, following the arrest of the ship in Gibraltar in March 2022.

Norton Rose Fulbright has advised KfW IPEX-Bank GmbH and other lenders since January 2022 on the implications of the GHK and Crystal Cruises insolvency proceedings (and related insolvency proceedings in Germany in respect of the MV Werften shipbuilding business) under various export credit agency-supported financings, and the consequential impact on a number of vessels in the GHK fleet, including Crystal Endeavor.

The firm’s work has included advising on security enforcement, ship arrest proceedings in various jurisdictions, and complicated maritime claims arising from the operation of such vessels.

Andrew Williams, partner at Norton Rose Fulbright leading the team advising KfW IPEX-Bank GmbH since January 2022, said: “This has been a particularly complicated mandate, involving multiple stakeholders, jurisdictions and different areas of law. We are grateful to KfW IPEX-Bank for entrusting us with this work and have highly appreciated the particularly close way in which our teams have worked together. Now that court approval for the sale has been received, we are pleased that Silver Endeavour will have a long and successful future in the Silversea Cruises fleet.”

The Norton Rose Fulbright team also included partners Simon Hartley (leading on the RCL financing), Timo Noftz (leading on German law matters) and Charlotte Winter (leading on dispute resolution matters). The team was supported by senior consultant Rob Driver, counsel Michelle Tsui, senior associates Matthew Bambury and Michael Volks, and associate Scott Speirs. Triay Lawyers advised KfW IPEX-Bank GmbH in respect of the laws of Gibraltar and Trenam Law advised in respect of the laws of Florida.

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