Royal Caribbean Buys Stake in Silversea Cruises for $1 Billion

Silversea Cruise ShipsA Silversea ship.

By the Caribbean Journal staff

Royal Caribbean Cruises has announced the acquisition of a significant stake in ultra-luxe small-ship cruise line Silversea Cruises.

The agreement includes the acquisition of a two-thirds equity stake in Silversea based on an enterprise value of $2 billion, with the purchase price of the equity valued at approximately $1 billion, according to the company.

RCL said it would finance the purchase through debt.

“Silversea is a crown jewel, and the acknowledged leader in luxury and expedition cruising, two key markets that are poised for growth,” said Richard D. Fain, Chairman and CEO of Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. “Uniting our two companies presents an extraordinary opportunity to expand vacation options for guests and create revenue in strategic growth areas.”

The move means a major new luxury brand for Royal Caribbean.

The move comes as the luxury cruise market continues to see drastic changes, most notably by the planned entry of Ritz-Carlton to the market. Ritz-Carlton just launched bookings for its first cruises, which will launch in 2020.

“We are proud to welcome aboard [Silversea executive chairman] Manfredi Lefebvre, a visionary leader whose high standards and history of innovation we deeply respect. Manfredi will remain Executive Chairman of Silversea, continuing to lead its strategy long term,” Fain said.

In a statement, Royal Caribbean said strategic rationales for the agreement included driving long-term capacity growth in the luxury cruise market; diversifying Royal Caribbean’s portfolio; leveraging the global footprint of both companies to “generate demand and increase vacation and destination options” and realizing what the company called “significant synergies” related to global market access, supply chain, purchasing power and other economies of scale.

Silversea CEO Roberto Martinoli will continue in his role, the company said.

Silversea operates a fleet of nine all-suite ships sailing around the world.

The brand joins Royal Caribbean’s existing portfolio, which includes its namesake brand, along with Celebrity Cruises, Azamara Club Cruises and the regional TUI and Pullmantur brands.