Who owns Royal Caribbean?

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Royal Caribbean International Spectrum of the Seas docked in Malaysia

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Royal Caribbean International, initially known as Royal Caribbean Cruise Line, is one of the most popular cruise lines in the world. Royal Caribbean was founded in 1968 in Norway and has since become a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Royal Caribbean Group, which is based in Miami, Florida.

Royal Caribbean International is an influential player in the cruise industry as the largest cruise line in terms of revenue and the second largest by passenger counts.

Who Owns Royal Caribbean?

Royal Caribbean International Spectrum of the Seas docked in MalaysiaPin

The cruise line Royal Caribbean is owned and operated by Royal Caribbean Group, which is a holding company incorporated in Liberia and based in Miami, Florida.

Royal Caribbean Group is the second largest cruise line operator after Carnival Corporation & plc. The cruise operator has established a strong presence in the cruise industry and is recognized for its award-winning cruise brands, including Royal Caribbean International.

Not only does the Royal Caribbean Group own and operate Royal Caribbean International, but it also has ownership over several other notable cruise lines. These include Celebrity Cruises and Silversea Cruises and a 50% stake in a joint venture that operates TUI Cruises.

This extensive portfolio under the Royal Caribbean Group umbrella enables the company to cater to a diverse range of travelers.

Royal Caribbean Group was formed in 1997 when the cruise line purchased Celebrity Cruises. At the time, the cruise line changed its name from Royal Caribbean Cruises to Royal Caribbean International, with Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd serving as the parent brand of both cruise lines.

Miami, FL, USA – September 26, 2022:Pin
Miami, FL, USA – September 26, 2022:

In July 2020, the parent company changed its name to Royal Caribbean Group after purchasing the remaining shares of Silversea Cruises.

And the cruise line became Royal Caribbean International.

The lines between the parent company and the cruise line can become confusing. The similar names and duplication of news and announcements from both companies make it difficult to distinguish the cruise operator from the cruise line.

The ownership of Royal Caribbean lies within the Royal Caribbean Group, which operates an impressive global fleet of over 60 ships traveling to around 1,000 destinations worldwide.

The group is led by a team of executives, including Jason Liberty, who serves as the Chairman and CEO of Royal Caribbean Group, and Michael Bayley, who holds the position of President and CEO of Royal Caribbean International. Together, they manage the cruise line’s daily operations and strategic direction.

History of Royal Caribbean

Song of Norway Cruise ship. The first Royal Caribbean vessel. Photograph from 1994Pin
Song of Norway. Royal Caribbean’s first cruise ship debuted in 1970 (Photo by Tony Garner)

Royal Caribbean International, originally founded as Royal Caribbean Cruise Line, was established in 1968 in Norway.

The creation of the cruise line was a collaborative effort between Norwegian ship owners;  Sigurd Skaugen, Anders Wilhemsen, and Gotaas Larsen. 

According to the cruise line, “The partners chose the name “Royal Caribbean” – with the connection to royalty signifying the high standards of service guests could expect from the new company.”

Royal Caribbean debuted with its first cruise ship, Song of Norway, two years later offering warm weather cruises.

The early fleet of the cruise line consisted of three ships: the Song of Norway, Nordic Prince (added in 1972), and Sun Viking (entered service in 1972). These ships provided passengers with a unique cruising experience, combining Norwegian maritime traditions with the warmth and beauty of the Caribbean.

The ships were the first to offer the round-cantilevered Viking Crown Lounges, which continue to be a popular amenity on modern Royal Caribean cruise ships.

Over the years, Royal Caribbean continued to expand its fleet and offerings. 

Celebrity Century cruise ship tendered next to the shore of Grand Cayman, Grand Cayman IslandsPin

In 1997, Royal Caribbean Cruise Line purchased Celebrity Cruises.

Royal Caribbean’s growth continued into the 1990s with the acquisition of Admiral Cruises and the purchase of Little Stirrup Cay in the Bahamas. Royal Caribbean rebranded the island, CocoCay, after their investment in creating a private island destination for cruisers.

Royal Caribbean decided to keep the two cruise lines separate following the merger. As a result, Royal Caribbean Cruise Line was rebranded to Royal Caribbean International, and Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd became the new parent company for both cruise brands.

Royal Caribbean made several more acquisitions over the years. The cruise line purchased the Spanish cruise line Pullmantur Cruises in 2006 and completed the purchase of the ultra-luxury cruise line Silversea Cruises in July 2020.

Royal also has an interest in the German TUI Cruises, which began operations in 2009.

Aerial drone photo Allure of the Seas at Port Miami cruise terminalPin

The spirit of the company’s Norwegian founders remains an integral part of Royal Caribbean’s DNA as it continues to push the boundaries of innovation and provide unforgettable cruise experiences for its guests. The friendly and welcoming atmosphere onboard every ship reflects the warmth and commitment to service that have been the hallmarks of Royal Caribbean since its inception.

Shareholder Benefits

Royal Caribbean offers some benefits for its shareholders who own a minimum of 100 shares of Royal Caribbean Group (NYSE: RCL). These benefits come in the form of onboard credit, which can be used during sailing to enhance their cruise experience.

According to Royal Caribbean Group’s website, shareholders with a minimum of 100 shares receive:

  • $1,000 Onboard Credit per Stateroom on a World Cruise
  • $250 Onboard Credit per Stateroom on Sailings of 14 or more nights.
  • $100 Onboard Credit per Stateroom on Sailings of 6-13 nights.
  • $50 Onboard Credit per Stateroom on Sailings of 5 nights or less.

*Applicable on any eligible Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises, or Silversea Cruises sailing.

*Excludes any charter or Galapagos sailings.

The amount of onboard credit received by eligible shareholders depends on the length of the cruise. For 14 nights or longer sailings, shareholders can enjoy a generous $250 onboard credit per stateroom. For cruises lasting 6 to 13 nights, the onboard credit is $100 per stateroom. And for shorter sailings of 5 nights or fewer, shareholders can still benefit from a $50 onboard credit per stateroom.

The benefits are available on any Royal Caribbean, Celebrity, or Silversea cruises except for charters and Galapagos cruises.

To receive Royal Caribbean shareholder benefits, some documentation is required. Shareholders must provide proof of ownership, which should be received by Royal Caribbean’s office “2-3 weeks before your sail date.” 

It’s important to note that the shareholder benefits apply only to the stateroom occupied by the shareholder. You cannot extend your benefits to family or friends traveling in separate staterooms.

However, this offer is a fantastic way for Royal Caribbean to show appreciation to its loyal shareholders while allowing them to enjoy an unforgettable cruise experience.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who Is The CEO Of Royal Caribbean?

The CEO of Royal Caribbean International is Michael Bayley. He manages the cruise line operations, working to ensure a high-quality experience for passengers aboard their ships.

Michael Bayley has been instrumental in leading the company as they navigate the ever-evolving travel and tourism industry.

Who Is The CEO Of Royal Caribbean Group?

The CEO of Royal Caribbean Group is Richard Fain. As the Chairman and CEO of the group, he is responsible for overseeing the strategic direction and performance of all of Royal Caribbean Group’s subsidiaries.

His leadership is crucial in maintaining the company’s status as a leading player in the global cruise market. He oversees the Royal Caribbean Groups’ portfolio of companies, including Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises, Silversea Cruises, and a stake in TUI Cruises.

Article by

Marcello De Lio

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