The deal by Royal Caribbean Cruises to take a majority stake in Silversea Cruises allows the company to enter the luxury and expedition space, Royal Caribbean’s chairman and CEO, Richard Fain, told CNBC.
“It’s really a growth opportunity. It’s a part of the market that we haven’t really been addressing,” Fain said Thursday on “Power Lunch.”
“We had this one gap in the ultra-luxury and expedition area,” he said. “We really needed to fill in that space.”
On Thursday, Royal Caribbean announced it was purchasing a controlling stake — nearly 67 percent — in Silversea Cruises, a private company, for $1 billion. Silversea sails to all seven continents, including locales such as the Galapagos Islands, Antarctica and Russia’s Far East. The cost of a cruise on Silversea can be well over $10,000.
The deal helps heighten the more affordable Royal Caribbean’s presence in the ultra-luxury space and makes it easier for it to compete with rivals like Carnival Cruise Lines and Norwegian Cruise Line.
Fain said short term the acquisition won’t have a big impact on business.
“But longer term — and we’re a long-term business — this is where we ought to be,” he said.
Royal Caribbean’s stock was up more than 5 percent late afternoon Thursday.
The deal is expected to close later this year.