In 1968, hospitality entrepreneur Ed Stephan and three Norwegian ship owners, Sigurd Skaugen, Anders Wilhemsen and Gotaas Larsen, created a cruise line to sail the Caribbean. The partners chose the name “Royal Caribbean” – with the connection to royalty signifying the high standards of service guests could expect from the new company. The first ship, Song of Norway, set sail on her maiden voyage from Miami on November 7, 1970, followed by two more ships in the next two years.
Influenced by the state-of-the-art Norwegian marine industry, the team built those first three ships for speed and fuel efficiency, with shallow drafts that could allow the ships to berth at small island quays. Impressed also by the Norwegian culture of ship safety, they made sure the vessels were designed for quick, efficient evacuation. Those early ships pioneered the wide, open-air decks and the round-cantilevered Viking Crown Lounges that made Royal ships stand apart from the crowd.
In the decades that followed, Royal Caribbean Group has continued as an industry innovator – from hotel and dining to entertainment, safety, technology and destination development.
All those years ago, when Royal Caribbean was a start-up company, it looked the part. The trailer on Biscayne Boulevard that housed the business would fit in a single conference room in the Group’s current Miami headquarters, which has a clear view of that spot on the Boulevard.
Getting bigger has a lot of positives. But there are certain traits that helped us get where we are today and we will never lose. Chief among them is our entrepreneurial spirit. That is the force that drives us to innovate, to constantly strive to do better.Richard D. Fain, Chair of the Board, Royal Caribbean Group
Getting bigger carries the temptation to move slowly, take fewer chances. Royal Caribbean Group has always resisted that temptation. At the Group, growth fuels the penchant for trying new things and provides a larger landscape for conducting experiments. It means more opportunities for innovation — because great entrepreneurs know that breakout ideas are often the fast lane to success.
Entrepreneurial spirit is the state of mind that helps the Group see opportunity where others see only risk. It’s the state of mind that never thinks “good enough” is remotely good enough. It’s the state of mind that greets every new idea with the words “What if?” instead of “It won’t work.”
In 2020, Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. adopted a new moniker, Royal Caribbean Group, to reflect its status as a parent company of a diverse set of cruise lines as well as other business. The Group also sharpened its iconic crown and anchor logo, reflecting the company’s growth and evolution since its last refresh more than 20 years earlier.
Guests have come to expect the biggest, best and boldest from Royal Caribbean Group. And we aren’t going to let them down — ever.