Cruise News — September 5, 2014 – Norwegian Gains Oceania and Regent in $3 Billion Deal

Cruise News — September 5, 2014

Norwegian Gains Oceania and Regent in $3 Billion Deal

Norwegian Cruise Line CEO Kevin Sheehan has inked a $3.025 billion deal to buy Prestige Cruises International, parent company of deluxe line Oceania Cruises and luxury all-inclusive line Regent Seven Seas Cruises. He’s not shy about what this means to the industry.

“I can’t think of a smarter thing that could have been done in this industry,” he told Porthole. “It has always made sense. I started this conversation five years ago.”

The deal, the first major merger in the cruise industry in several years, instantly gives Norwegian, operator of mainstream ships carrying as many as 4,100 passengers, a major stake in the high-end segment.

Oceania has five ships, Regent three, carrying 490 to 1,250 passengers. On order, for delivery in 2016, is the 750-passenger Seven Seas Explorer, bill as the world’s “most luxurious” ship.

Sheehan said he expects some Norwegian passengers to move up to Oceania and Regent, and some passengers on the fancy brands to bring along their kids or grandkids and stay in The Haven suites on Norwegian ships. But the plan is to continue to operate what have been three successful brands.

The acquisition also gives Norwegian advantages including in “cross-brand collaboration,” Sheehan said. Plus, the company gains a more global reach.

The cash and stock deal, which includes assumption of debt, is expected to close by the end of the year.

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