Royal Caribbean Sells Stake in Island Cruises to TUI Travel

Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd  (RCL) has sold its 50 percent stake in Island Cruises to a unit of British-based tour operator TUI Travel Plc, which owns the other half. Neither the value of the deal, which remains subject to regulatory approval in Ireland, nor the gain to RCL was disclosed.

RCL and TUI agreed to terminate the charter of Island Star early. RCL owns Island Star which it chartered as one of two cruise ships in Island Cruises' fleet. RCL plans to redeploy the Island Star to Pullmantur Cruises, its Spanish brand, in April 2009.

"Island Cruises has been a rewarding investment for us, but over the past year our priorities have shifted," RCL Chief Executive Richard Fain said in a statement. "We believe by focusing on developing and expanding the Royal Caribbean International and Celebrity Cruises brands in the U.K. we will be better able to serve our customers and create value for our shareholders," Fain added.

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