Q – Just when I had it all figured out and convinced our dear friends from grad school to join us, I read in the Financial Times yesterday that my first-ever, carefully selected, cruise line, Silversea, has been sold to Royal Caribbean. As Royal does not appear in the rankings of the top ten cruise lines on this site, we are extremely concerned about the possible impact of this purchase. Will Silversea ships be equipped with ferris wheels or go-kart tracks? We are prepared to cancel if that is your recommendation. We did book with Silversea so not sure we’d get a straight answer from them. I wish they had told us about this before we booked.
A – Royal Caribbean paid $1 Billion for a 66% share of Silversea. This was a mutually beneficial strategic move with the purchase of enhancing Silversea’s growth int he luxury segment, particularly in the fast-growing expedition cruise market. No shipboard or management changes are going to take place anytime soon. Silversea has an experienced management team in place with two new luxury ships on order and a solid position as one of the very top luxury lines in the world. You should have zero concerns. The only direct result guests will see will likely involve an accelerated schedule of on-board upgrades and some new-build announcements. Silversea now has the financial backing to achieve a great many of its goals. There were things it could not achieve as a privately-held, family-owned business. Now, Royal Caribbean will have the funding to make some of Silversea’s luxury market dreams come true.
As we mention in our announcement of this purchase in our Silversea review, RCCL paid the same price for all of Silversea that it would pay (about $1 Billion) to build one of its mega-liners. So this is seen as industry experts as a likely win-win. There is precedent for this sort of purchase. Carnival owns Seabourn and Norwegian Cruise line owns Regent Seven Seas, The lass market lines want to be in the five-star game so their guests can progress through the company to more deluxe and higher yield products. Our suggestion is that you all sleep soundly secure in the knowledge that Silversea has a lot more money in the cash register than it had one week ago. This purchase is a reason to book Silversea – not a reason to cancel.