Apollo Greenlights New Ship for Regent

Apollo Management doesn't waste any time. On the day that its acquisition of Regent Seven Seas Cruises was completed officially, Apollo and its subsidiary, Prestige Cruise Holdings, gave the go-ahead for Regent to enter into discussions with a shipyard on a new-build, whose order would be placed in the second half of 2008 for a 2011 delivery. "We look forward to fueling the growth and continued success of this cruise line," Steve Martinez, a partner at Apollo, said on Thursday, the day of the announcement.

Though details are still sketchy, Regent's management said the initial concept would closely mirror two other Regent ships, Seven Seas Voyager and Seven Seas Mariner, with the same 700-passenger capacity as the two. There would be a few nuances, Regent said, including larger standard suites, an enhanced spa, more dining venues and expanded dining options.

"Given the continued growth of the luxury market, the new ship will allow Regent to add capacity to meet the anticipated demand, and to offer a more diverse range of deployments to include additional longer, more exotic voyages," said Frank Del Rio, chairman and CEO of Prestige Cruise Holdings.

In less than a year's time, the private equity firm Apollo has made a smashing foray into the cruise industry, having acquired Oceania Cruises and Regent, which were placed under the ownership of Prestige, and purchasing a half stake in Norwegian Cruise Line. (DE)

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