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Cunard Line names Richard Meadows President of Cunard Line – North America

Cunard today announced that Richard Meadows has been appointed President of Cunard Line – North America, assuming operating responsibility for the iconic Cunard brand throughout the North American continent from 1 December 2014.  He will report to David Noyes, CEO of Cunard Line.  Meadows will retain his role as President of Seabourn, leading all business and global operations for the ultra-luxury cruise line.

“With Rick having worked at so many brands within the Carnival Corporation portfolio, we are eager to leverage his knowledge, experience and skills to advance the Cunard brand in North America,” said Noyes from the Line’s headquarters in Southampton.  “His background in leading Seabourn is particularly valuable, as he understands well the nuances of delivering superior service and enriching onboard experiences – the things that directly appeal to Cunard passengers.  We are thrilled to have him join our team.”

As President of Cunard – North America and Seabourn, Meadows will give his full attention to these two celebrated luxury brands, focusing in particular on generating brand awareness, growing revenues and yields, advancing exceptional product innovation and providing unmatched guest experiences.  Under his leadership, Cunard and Seabourn will continue to create outstanding cruise experiences and lifetime memories for their passengers.

Meadows has held key positions at a number of Carnival Corporation & plc brands over his 29-year career with the group and has held the position of President of Seabourn since 2011.  During that time, he also has served as Executive Vice President of Marketing, Sales and Guest Programmes for Holland America Line, where he had global revenue responsibility.  With his appointment as President of Cunard – North America, Meadows will gradually step away from Holland America Line to give his complete focus to his new role.  “It is an incredible honour for me to help lead and serve Cunard,’” said Meadows.  “I am excited about the prospect of working closely with David and the Cunard management team to enhance how we deliver luxury on a grand scale to discerning travellers in this region of the world.”

Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. completes acquisition of Prestige Cruises International, Inc.

Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd., a leading global cruise operator, today announced it has completed its previously-announced acquisition of Prestige Cruises International, Inc., the market leader in the upscale cruise segment and parent company of Oceania Cruises and Regent Seven Seas Cruises, in cash and stock for a total transaction consideration of $3.025 billion, including the assumption of debt.

With this acquisition, Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. operates a portfolio of brands that span all market segments in the cruise industry, from contemporary to upper-premium to luxury.  Each brand offers differentiated experiences in their respective segments.  The Norwegian Cruise Line brand provides the freedom and flexibility of a resort-style vacation on board some of the most innovative ships in the industry with its unique Freestyle Cruising proposition.  Oceania Cruises offers an upper premium experience with the finest cuisine at sea on its fleet of mid-sized ships, while Regent Seven Seas Cruises is the market leader in the luxury cruise segment and operates three award-winning, all-suite ships, with an additional ship on order for delivery in summer 2016.

Commenting on the closing of the acquisition, Kevin Sheehan, president and chief executive officer of Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd., said, “While for years we have competed successfully with our one brand in an increasingly consolidated industry, our acquisition of Prestige creates a new cruise operator with a range of complementary offerings as diversified as any in the industry.  We now shift our focus from planning for the successful integration of these organizations to the implementation phase, with an organizational structure that allows for the realization of significant synergies while maintaining the integrity of the Norwegian Cruise Line, Oceania Cruises and Regent Seven Seas Cruises brands that have made each a success in their respective segment.”

Frank Del Rio, chief executive officer of Prestige Cruise Holdings, Inc., commented, “We’re excited to officially join the Norwegian family and ready to begin this next chapter as one united company.  Together, we will further our brands’ position as leaders in the upper-premium and luxury cruise markets by continuing to deliver an exceptional onboard experience for our guests, and expand the reach of both Oceania Cruises and Regent Seven Seas Cruises throughout the world.”

Deutschland put up for sale

A meeting of bondholders has decided to put the 22,496 gross ton cruise ship Deutschland up for sale, Peter Deilmann Reederei that operates the vessel said in a statement.

The meeting, which was held in Munich on 12 November, will offer the ship on private terms and there are currently two interested parties with whom discussions are in progress

The 1996 built ship is currently owned by MS Deutschland Beteiligungsgesellschaft, which has filed for voluntary administration.

Bain Capital reported to invest "hundreds of millions" in Virgin Cruises

Bain Capital, the Boston based asset management company with $80 billion under its control, has reportedly agreed to invest "hundreds of millions of dollars" in Virgin Cruises, the new venture planned by Sir Richard Branson, the British billionaire entrepreneur.

Virgin Group, the holding company of Sir Richard, would invest more than $100 million itself, media reports in the UK said on Monday.

Sky News reports that Virgin Cruises, which intends to commence operations in 2019, plans to raise about £500 million in an offering of equity and approximately £1.0 billion in debt.

Madrid International Cruise Summit focused on ports

The fourth Madrid international Cruise Summit took place on 12th and 13th of November. Alan Lam reports.

 

Representatives from most major cruise lines, European ports, travel agents, suppliers and the press were among the 260 or so delegates. The focus of this year’s discussion was firmly on the expectations for ports and destinationsWith the coming of Asia cruise tourists in large numbers, the question was asked if the ports and destinations in Europe were ready for this influx.

 

Outside of Asia, Mediterranean ports are believed to be the ones that will draw the biggest number of Chinese cruise tourists in the coming years.

 

To benefit from this new source of income, during the summit, cruise lines and industry professionals were calling for ports to facilitate a “multiagency” approach to attracting cruise callsby looking at the bigger economic benefits of cruise tourism and catering for the tastes and expectations of these newly minted visitors.

 

In this regard, a lot had been achieved and much more needed to be done, the delegates were told. 

 

One of our correspondents was again invited as speaker at the summit. A detailed report and analysis of the issues raised will be published in a full-length article in the next edition of Cruise Business Review.