Who’s Who Part IV: Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings

With all of the different brands of cruise lines out there, I thought it might be appropriate to break down the lines and help you understand who the parent companies are and what their sub-brands are best known for. This Weekly Wednesday article will dig up some minor brands which you may not have ever heard before. All of the information is current as the of the time this article was published.

This post will be released in smaller parts over the next several weeks. Links will be activated once the subsequent entries have been posted.

(Part ICarnival Corporation & plc – AIDA CruisesCarnival Cruise LineCarnival CSSCCosta CruisesCunard LineHolland America LineP&O CruisesP&O Cruises AustraliaPrincess CruisesSeabourn Cruise Line

(Part IIRoyal Caribbean Group – AzamaraCelebrity CruisesRoyal Caribbean InternationalSilversea Cruises

(Part IIITUI Group – Hapag-Lloyd Cruises, Marella CruisesTUI Cruises

(Current Article) Norwegian Cruise Line HoldingsNorwegian Cruise Line, Oceania Cruises, Regent Seven Seas Cruises

(Part V) Genting Hong KongCrystal Cruises, Dream Cruises, Star Cruises

(Part VIOther Cruise Lines – Bahamas Paradise Cruise LineDisney Cruise lineFred. Olsen Cruise LinesMSC CruisesSaga CruisesVikingVirgin Voyages

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Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings

A fairly young company, Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings (NCLH) was incorporated in February of 2011 as a Bermuda exempted company. They were owned by Genting Hong Kong, Apollo Management and TPG Capital. Beginning in 2013, the joint owners started to reduce their shares in NCLH. In 2014, NCLH announced the purchase of Prestige Cruise Holdings who was the parent company of Oceania Cruises and Regent Seven Seas Cruises. The following year, the co-founder of Oceania Cruises, Frank Del Rio took role as the President and CEO of Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings. Identified as the third-largest cruise operator in the world, Apollo and Genting sold off their remaining shares in the company in 2018, marking the end of a decade-long relationship. Fun Fact: This company was never affiliated with Norway.

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Norwegian Cruise Line

1966 saw the creation of Norwegian Caribbean Line with the introduction of the ship, Sunward. The company was founded by Knut Kloster and Ted Arison. Sunward offered a car ferry service between Southampton, UK and Gibraltar. In the early 1970s, Arison left the line to form Carnival Cruise Line while Kloster stayed behind and continued to grow the company’s assets. When they launched their second ship, the Starward, it was able to carry cars through a well-concealed stern door. This area was later converted into cabins and a two-deck movie theater, the latter of which set the stage for many other cruise lines in the future (the theater was eventually turned into a casino). By 1979, the line had acquired a ship which they named Norway. After undergoing a $100 million transformation, she was one of the largest cruise ships of her time. There was a great amount of entertainment available onboard. Between 1997 and 2001, Norwegian expanded their itineraries to include Alaska, Europe, Bermuda, and Hawaii, and when they picked up the Australian market, they rolled out the name Norwegian Capricorn Line. In 1998, Norwegian acquired Orient Lines and in 2000 Norwegian was acquired by Star Cruises, a subsidiary of Genting Hong Kong. In 2007, Star Cruises sold 50% of Norwegian to Apollo Management to strengthen Norwegian’s financial position. By 2008, Orient Lines ceased operations. As of today, all of their ships are flagged in the Bahamas except for Pride of America, which is the only major cruise ship flagged in the United States.

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Oceania Cruises

Founded in 2002, Oceania Cruises got its beginnings by chartering ships from Renaissance Cruises. They chartered R Two and renamed her Insignia in 2002 and when they got her back for the 2003 season, renamed her to Regatta. Their second chartered ship they introduced that year was R One from Renaissance Cruises which they renamed to Insignia. By 2005, a third ship was introduced, the R Five which they renamed to Nautica. In 2007, the majority of Oceania Cruises’ stock was sold to Apollo Management and subsequently, an agreement was made to construct two new ships. 2011 saw the introduction of their first newly built ship, Marina and a year later, Riviera. 2014 saw the purchase of Oceania Cruises by Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings, and that same year, after spending some time chartering sailings for Hapag-Lloyd Cruises, Insignia returned to service with Oceania. The last ship introduced was Sirena, which previously sailed as R Four for Renaissance Cruises, and Tahitian Princess and Ocean Princess for Princess Cruises. Oceania Cruises is best known for their longer voyages, sailing between 10 and 14 days traditionally. They also offer a world cruise option which lasts for 195 days.

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Regent Seven Seas Cruises

Getting their start in 1992, they were initially launched as Radisson Seven Seas Cruises. Owned by Carlson Companies (the parent of Radisson Cruises and Hotels), they set sail with the world’s largest SWATH designed ship, the Diamond Cruise. A SWATH (or Small Waterplane Area Twin Hull) ship, has two hulls similar to a Catamaran, only the hulls sit below the water line so that wave action does not affect the submerged hulls. Radisson Diamond sailed for the company until 2005, when it was sold to become a casino cruise ship for Asia Cruises. In 1999, their first purpose-built ship was constructed. The Seven Seas Navigator was originally built in 2003 by a ship building company in Russia as a satellite tracking ship, only to have the hull purchased by Radisson Seven Seas Cruises who outfitted the superstructure with ninety percent of the cabins having their own private verandas. Since the Navigator, every ship built for Radisson Seven Seas Cruises, and Regent, have been all-suites each with their own private balcony. In 2008, Apollo Management purchased Regent Seven Seas Cruises from Carlson Companies. Carlson retained ownership of the master Regent brand, including Regent Hotels & Resorts. Regent prides themselves in high-class and high-quality service, with small passenger capacity on their ships and a low staff-to-guest ratio.

Radisson Diamond, a SWATH ship – Photo: wikipedia.org
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So many brands!

We hope you enjoyed Part IV of the Who’s Who series and that you learned something new. Don’t forget to come back next week for the next part of our journey where we will uncover the Genting Hong Kong brand.

4 thoughts on “Who’s Who Part IV: Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings”

  1. Pingback: Who's Who Part I
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