First, Royal Caribbean announced the sale of the three-ship Azamara brand. Within a blink, the same buyer snatched up Princess Cruises’ Pacific Princess. Azamara is now a four-ship fleet with ships small enough to visit more out-of-the-way ports around the world than most cruise lines.
Azamara owner buys Pacific Princess
The new owner of Azamara is a private equity firm based in New York, Sycamore Partners. Currently, Azamara consists of Azamara Journey, Azamara Quest and Azamara Pursuit. After Pacific Princess undergoes a full-ship renovation and receives a new name, it is scheduled to sail its inaugural season in Europe in 2022.
It was only earlier this month that Royal Caribbean Group and Sycamore Partners entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Azamara. The deal is expected to close sometime by the end of March this year.
The fourth ship is comparable in size to Azamara Pursuit, Azamara Journey and Azamara Quest. Not a surprise considering all four ships once sailed for Renaissance Cruises. When Renaissance decided to bypass travel agents and take direct reservations, the cruise line went bankrupt.
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Each of the existing Azamara ships can accommodate 670 passengers while Pacific Princess carried up to 688 guests. But maybe that will change during the renovation. Acquiring the fourth ship will expand the fleet’s overall capacity by 33 percent. Azamara’s commitment to enrich immersion around the world will continue with the new owners.
“We are thrilled to be expanding our fleet with a fourth ship, allowing us to visit even more regions of the world and better serve our guests,” said Carol Cabezas, President of Azamara. “We look forward to launching even more unique and immersive itineraries and feel this is just the beginning of an exciting growth phase for Azamara.”
When the new ship emerges from an extensive refurbishment, it will match its sister ships and maintain the same boutique feel and upscale experience.