Jul 31, 2018 · Business

Royal Caribbean and Silversea deal gets final nod

The final step has been taken in uniting ultra-luxury brand Silversea Cruises and Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd., now covering all key market segments with 59 ships sailing to more than 1,000 destinations on all the world’s continents.

The billion-dollar deal was granted final regulatory approvals by the German Federal Cartel Office and the Austrian Federal Competition.

In announcing the green lights, Richard D. Fain, RCL chairman and CEO, welcomed the Silversea team to Royal’s family, adding, “We are excited to start working together, learning from each other, and providing even better vacations to Silversea guests, who are some of the world’s most knowledgeable travelers.”

Under the new partnership, RCL buys a 66.7 percent equity stake in Silversea for about $1 billion, based on the Monaco-based cruiseline’s enterprise value of some $2 billion. The purchase is to be financed through debt.

Manfredi Lefebvre D’Ovidio, whose father founded the brand in the early 1990s, will remain executive chairman of Silversea and retain a 33.3 percent stake.

“We’re excited to join the Royal Caribbean family and ready to begin this next chapter as part of an industry leader that is uniquely qualified to support Silversea’s future growth,” Lefebvre said. “This partnership enables us to realize our vision of being the uncontested leader in ultra-luxury cruising and expedition, taking our guests to more than 1,000 destinations aboard some of the world’s most luxurious vessels.”

The companies also announced Project Invictus, a multi-year initiative to take Silversea’s ultra-luxury offerings to the next level, ranging from product enhancements to magnified ship revitalization programs.

The first will roll out Aug. 19 on the Silver Muse, with an upgraded champagne and caviar offering. These and other enhancements will then be implemented fleet wide, strengthening Silversea’s reputation for indulgent, luxurious embellishments.

In addition, the renovation of Silver Whisper in December will be more comprehensive than first planned, including a refit of all guest cabins. In the same month, Silver Wind will go into an extended dry dock, followed by Silver Shadow. The three dry docks will complete the overarching plan for a fleet-wide “Musification,” in which the renovation of each vessel will take inspiration from the design of the cruiseline’s very successful flagship, Silver Muse.

The deal will add to an RCL stable that includes its largest line, Royal Caribbean International, a contemporary brand focused on adventure-seeking families; Celebrity Cruises, a premium brand providing a modern luxury experience to discerning global travelers; and Azamara Club Cruises, a destination-immersive brand offering luxury voyages to unique ports. The company also operates the regional TUI Cruises and Pullmantur Cruceros brands in long-term joint ventures.

As a pioneering ultra-luxury brand, Silversea offers intimate, all-suite ships, as well as unique luxury expedition vessels exploring secluded harbors not accessible to larger cruise ships.

In addition to RCL’s existing global fleet of 59 ships, 15 new vessels are on order.