The new owner of boutique cruise line Azamara is expanding the fleet with the acquisition of Pacific Princess.
The latest announcement follows the statement earlier this month that New York-based private equity firm Sycamore Partners had entered a definitive agreement to buy the Azamara brand from the Royal Caribbean Group for £201 million. The deal is due to be finalised this spring.
Launched in 1999, Pacific Princess was originally built for the former line Renaissance Cruises and had sailed with Princess Cruises, a subsidiary of Carnival Corporation, since 2002. Carrying 620 passengers, it was the smallest ship in the Princess fleet and Azamara says it is a perfect fit to join its existing trio of ships – Azamara Journey, Quest and Pursuit – which are also ‘R-class’ vessels.
Stefan Kaluzny, Managing Director of Sycamore Partners, said:
“The addition of this ship is an important milestone and reflects Sycamore Partners’ commitment to supporting Azamara in its next phase of growth. Expanding the fleet will allow Azamara to continue to serve loyal customers, as well as those new to the brand, with more unique Destination Immersion programming and itineraries.”
Pacific Princess will increase Azamara’s overall passenger capacity by 33% and the ship will undergo an extensive refurbishment prior to its first sailing under the Azamara flag in 2022.
Carol Cabezas, President of Azamara, added:
“We are thrilled to be expanding our fleet with a fourth ship, allowing us to visit even more regions of the world and better serve our guests. We look forward to launching even more unique and immersive itineraries and feel this is just the beginning of an exciting growth phase for Azamara.”
Known as the ‘River Cruise Queen’, Jeannine Williamson is an award-winning travel writer, cruise expert and our cruise correspondent, who has clocked up thousands of nautical miles.
Photographs courtesy of Azamara