January 20, 2021 - Royal Caribbean Holding is selling its Azamara Club Cruises to Sycamore Partners, a New York-based private equity firm. Royal Caribbean intends to focus exclusively on the brands Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises and the majority holding Silversea in the future. The sale is expected to close in the first quarter of 2021.
Carol Cabezas, currently chief operating officer of the Azamara brand, will become president of the company, according to insiders. Ms. Cabezas says that Sycamore Partners is the ideal partner in the 3-ship brand. Azamara would emerge stronger from the takeover. Richard D. Fain, Chairman and CEO of the Royal Caribbean Group, added that the holding company intends to concentrate its resources on the three remaining brands, Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises and Silversea. Still, Azamara would remain a strong brand with enormous growth potential.
Traditional greeting of the Azamara Quest in Hamburg
Suite 7004 of the Azamara Quest
Whether the new owner will be able to run a cruise line remains to be proven. Founded in 2011 and based in New York, the company has so far excelled with investments in trading companies. The office supplier Staples is one of the brands. Sycamore's investments are mainly in the textile sector. In the spring of last year, the company hit the headlines for its unsuccessful takeover of 55 percent of the shares in Victoria's Secret. A civil suit ended the acquisition of the underwear brand.
As for Azamara, the company plans to resume ship operations with the Azamara Quest on May 1st, 2021. On this day the ship will start a 14-day Black Sea voyage. The sister ship Azamara Journey begins a 7-day trip in the Mediterranean. Azamara assures the booked guests that despite the change of ownership, the planned trips will continue unchanged.