Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. (RCL) has found a luxury brand of its own to compete with the likes of Carnival Cruises (Seabourn Cruise Line, Cunard Line) and Norwegian Cruise Line (Regent Seven Seas Cruises). The cruise line has announced it will be purchasing a 66.7 percent stake in Silversea Cruises, a privately-owned, ultra-luxury and expedition brand, in a transaction valued at approximately $2.0 billion.
“The Silversea investment presents an extraordinary opportunity for RCL, as we seek to bring more vacation options to our guests worldwide,” said Richard Fain, CEO and Chairman of Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd., in a written release. “Silversea has a long track record as the leader in high-end, small-ship ultra-luxury and expedition cruising, and our stake in this company enhances our current offerings and creates additional value for our shareholders.”
Silversea Cruises Executive Chairman Manfredi Lefebvre said: “I am very excited about the growth opportunity this partnership with Royal Caribbean gives to Silversea and look forward to continue to steer the strategy of the leader in ultra-luxury cruising and luxury expedition. RCL’s financial and operational strength will allow us to grow at an unprecedented pace and will allow us to capture the burgeoning demand for ultra-luxury and expedition cruising.”
The strategic rationale for the partnership includes:
- Driving long-term capacity growth in the burgeoning luxury and expedition markets at a much larger scale than what Silversea would achieve independently
- Diversifying Royal Caribbean's portfolio and increasing its expedition offerings by adding a premiere ultra-luxury brand
- Leveraging the global footprint of the combined companies to generate demand and increase vacation and destination options for the guests of both companies
- Realizing significant synergies related to global market access, supply chain, purchasing power and other economies of scale
Lefebvre and Fain also confirmed that Silversea's CEO Roberto Martinoli will continue in his role, working with the existing Silversea management team.
Silversea, with its smaller, all-suite ships and luxury expedition vessels, adds an ultra-luxury brand to RCL’s brand lineup. RCL's largest brand, Royal Caribbean International, is a contemporary brand focused on adventure-seeking families; Celebrity Cruises is a premium brand providing a modern luxury experience to discerning global travelers; and Azamara Club Cruises is a destination-immersive brand offering luxury voyages to unique ports. The company also operates the regional TUI Cruises and Pullmantur brands as part of long-term joint ventures.
The closing is expected to be completed later in the year.