The world’s third-largest cruise ship company is about to get bigger.
Miami-based Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings announced Tuesday morning that it will acquire Prestige Cruises International, the parent of upscale Oceania Cruises and luxury Regent Seven Seas Cruises for more than $3 billion.
The $3.025 billion deal combines one of the world's biggest mass-market lines with two leaders of the upscale side of the cruise market. While Norwegian operates 13 large vessels that carry as many as 5,000 passengers a piece, Oceania and Regent operate more intimate ships that carry just 490 to 1,250 passengers and offer a more luxurious – and pricey – experience.
The combination further consolidates the cruise industry, which is dominated by two big companies. Industry giant Carnival Corp. controls nearly half of the world's ocean cruise business with 10 brands including Carnival, Princess, Holland America, Cunard and Costa. Rival Royal Caribbean Cruises is the second biggest player with six brands including Royal Caribbean, Celebrity and Azamara. The two companies operate 100 and 42 ships, respectively.
Even after the acquisition, Norwegian will remain a distant third in size among cruise companies with 21 ships. But the 47-year-old firm is expanding rapidly. Norwegian has four ships on order for delivery between 2015 and 2019, which will come on the heels of two new vessels unveiled over the past 16 months. One of the targets of the acquisition, Regent, also has a ship on order for delivery in 2016.
Source: USA Today, Miami Herald