NOVEMBER 25, 2014 — Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. (Nasdaq:NCLH) today announced a definitive agreement with Princess Cruises, Ltd. to purchase the 684 passenger Ocean Princess for its newly acquired Oceania Cruises brand. Reportedly, Norwegian is paying $82 million for the vessel.
Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. completed its previously-announced acquisition of Prestige Cruises International, Inc., the parent of both Oceania Cruises and Regal Seven Seas, on November 19, 2014.
The Ocean Princess was originally delivered in 1999 as the R Four to Renaissance Cruises by France's then Chantiers de l'Atlantique shipyard. When Renaissance went belly up in 2001, the ship was seized by creditors. The following year, Princess Cruises secured a two year lease on R Four and sister ship R Three (now Pacific Princess). At the end of the lease, Princess Cruises purchased both vessels. The R-Four entered operation for Princess at the end of 2002, asTahitian Princess, being renamed Ocean Princess in 2009.
The 684-passenger ship joins Oceania Cruises' trio of award-winning sister ships Insignia, Regatta and Nautica. The new addition will be named Sirena.
On delivery in March 2016, Sirena will immediately undergo a 35-day, $40 million refurbishment in Marseille, France. The ship will welcome her first guests as part of the Oceania Cruises fleet in late April 2016.
Norwegian says the addition of Sirena, along with the recently completed refurbishment of Insignia, Nautica and Regatta, demonstrates Oceania Cruises' continued commitment to mid-size ships and destination orientated cruising.
"The acquisition of Sirena provides measured capacity growth based on the proven platform of Oceania Cruises' highly regarded mid-size ships," said Kevin Sheehan, president and chief executive officer of Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd., parent company of Oceania Cruises. "Our belief in the Oceania Cruises brand and our commitment to its growing base of loyal guests were the rationale behind our decision to bring Sirena into the fleet."
"The addition of Sirena opens up an entire array of new itinerary options for Oceania Cruises as we think about our deployment strategy," added Kunal S. Kamlani, president and chief operating officer of Oceania Cruises. "The award-winning guest experience delivered on our ships, coupled with a collection of innovative itineraries that cater to new markets, will combine for an alluring siren song for both our current and future guests."
The inaugural season for Sirena will be released in late February 2015 with reservations opening on March 4, 2015.