Royal Caribbean Group to sell Azamara for $201 Million

Jan 19, 2021

Royal Caribbean Group announced today the selling of its luxury cruise line Azamara for $201 million to the private-equity firm Sycamore Partners. The three-ship Azamara brand established 13 years ago has created a tremendous group of loyal followers of cruisers over the years. Azamara raise the bar in the cruise industry under the guidance of Larry Pimentel, President & CEO of Azamara with longer stays and more overnights in ports worldwide.

Commenting on the latest news Royal Caribbean Group Chairman and CEO Richard Fain said “Our strategy has evolved into placing more of our resources behind three global brands, Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises and Silversea, and working to grow them as we emerge from this unprecedented period. Even so, Azamara remains a strong brand with its own tremendous potential for growth, and Sycamore’s track record demonstrates that they will be good stewards of what the Azamara team has built over the past 13 years.”

Azamara said the cruise line will continue to offer leading upmarket cruising and benefit from Sycamore's consumer business and operational experience. "Azamara's talented crew and employees will remain part of the brand and play a critical role driving future growth. We also value our travel partners and guests and deeply appreciate the contributions they bring," said Azamara in a statement.

The new owner Sycamore Partners will take over the cruise line in the first quarter of 2021 is buying the brand, all three ships and associated intellectual property. The current Chief Operating Officer Carol Cabezas will become president of Azamara and all team members will remain intact said Sycamore Partners in a statement. The company said it will reallocate 100 Azamara shore-based employees which are based in the Royal Caribbean headquarters in Miami to a new location.

"We are pleased that Royal Caribbean Group has entrusted Sycamore to support Azamara in its next phase of growth," said Stefan Kaluzny, Managing Director of Sycamore Partners. "We are excited to partner with the Azamara team and build on their many years of success serving the brand's loyal customers. We believe Azamara will remain a top choice for discerning travelers as the cruising industry recovers over time."

Azamara Cruises was established by Royal Caribbean and Celebrity Cruises in 2007, with two ships Azamara Journey and Azamara Quest. The original plan was these two ships to sail under Celebrity Cruises fleet however, shortly after the company decided to create a new brand. Many experienced professionals coming from Celebrity Cruises helped establish the foundations of Azamara brand identity, such as Dominique Gamba – current Director of Fleet Restaurant Operations at Royal Caribbean International, Niyazi Korkmaz - Hotel director at Celebrity Cruises, Ryszard Guzman Hotel director at Azamara, to name a few.