Royal Caribbean Cruises is to acquire a 66.7% majority stake worth $2 billion in privately-owned ultra luxury line Silversea Cruises.

The purchase price of the equity being acquired is approximately $1 billion.

Royal Caribbean plans to finance the purchase through debt.

Richard Fain, chairman and chief executive of Royal Caribbean Cruises, said: “Silversea is a crown jewel, and the acknowledged leader in luxury and expedition cruising, two key markets that are poised for growth.

“Uniting our two companies presents an extraordinary opportunity to expand vacation options for guests and create revenue in strategic growth areas.”

Fain added: “We are proud to welcome aboard Manfredi Lefebvre, a visionary leader whose high standards and history of innovation we deeply respect.

“Manfredi will remain executive chairman of Silversea, continuing to lead its strategy long term.”

Lefebvre added: “This partnership will bolster the growth of this exceptional brand founded by my father.

“I have always been kindred spirits with Richard and we share a vision of offering excellence and leadership to our guests.

“This new partnership gives Silversea the opportunity to accelerate the growth of the most successful luxury and expedition cruising brand in the world.”

Fain and Lefebvre also confirmed that Silversea CEO Roberto Martinoli will continue in his role, working with the existing Silversea management team.

The strategic rationale for the partnership includes:

  • Driving long-term capacity growth in the burgeoning luxury and expedition markets at a much larger scale than what Silversea would achieve independently;
  • Diversifying Royal Caribbean’s portfolio and increasing its expedition offerings by adding a premiere ultra-luxury brand;
  • Leveraging the global footprint of the combined companies to generate demand and increase vacation and destination options for the guests of both companies;
  • Realizing significant synergies related to global market access, supply chain, purchasing power and other economies of scale.

The deal is expected to be completed later in the year, subject to regulatory approvals.

Silversea will operate alongside Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises and Azamara Club Cruises under the Royal Cribbean Cruises umbrella.

The US cruise giant also operates the regional Tui Cruises and Pullmantur brands as part of long-term joint ventures.

More: Royal Caribbean Cruises’ majority stake in Silversea will ‘create opportunities’