Royal Caribbean Group completed the sale of its Azamara brand to private equity firm Sycamore Partners, the same day that Azamara revealed the name of its fourth ship, the Azamara Onward.
"Today marks a new beginning for Azamara, as we increase our capacity and begin our journey as an independent cruise company," said president Carol Cabezas, adding that the new ship "marks the start of a new adventure and we chose a name that celebrates the bright future ahead for the brand, our guests and the industry as a whole."
The all-cash, $201 million sale of Azamara included its three-ship fleet and associated intellectual property. The line purchased its fourth ship, the former Pacific Princess, from Carnival Corp., shortly after revealing the sale.
"Azamara has a bright future and is positioned to continue growing as an independent company," added Orlando Ashford, executive chairman of Azamara.
Azamara said the official vessel handover took place on March 15. Currently docked in Civitavecchia, Italy, the vessel will undergo an extensive renovation prior to launching its inaugural Europe season in 2022.
The Onward joins the brand's existing fleet of R-class vessels, the Azamara Pursuit, Azamara Journey and Azamara Quest. The additional ship purchase was seen as an indication that Sycamore would grow the brand, something that mostly eluded the line under Royal Caribbean Group's ownership.
"We look forward to guiding and supporting Azamara in its next phase of growth," Stefan Kaluzny, managing director of Sycamore said in a statement. "The brand's high guest engagement, personalized service and unique Destination Immersion strategy, position it strongly for continued growth in the upmarket space."