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Regent Seven Seas shocks industry with $3 billion sale to Norwegian Cruise Line

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While the announcement was officially made over the past Labor Day weekend (August 31), former passengers of Regent Seven Seas and Oceania Cruises awoke this morning to an email telling them that the cruise lines have been sold to Norwegian Cruise Lines.

The email read:

We have some exciting news to share. The parent company of Regent Seven Seas Cruises, Prestige Cruises International, has agreed to be acquired by Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings, Ltd., parent company of Norwegian Cruise Line.

For our loyal guests, you can rest assured that the Regent Seven Seas Cruises experience you've come to love and cherish will remain unchanged. At Regent, we pride ourselves on providing our guests with the most inclusive luxury experience at sea with included roundtrip air, fine wine and spirits, unlimited shore excursions, specialty dining, ground transfers and gratuities. We continue to enhance our offerings for guests with our expanded free internet program that begins next year, and in summer 2016 we will introduce the most luxurious ship ever built with Seven Seas Explorer®.

With Norwegian Cruise Line, we've found a partner that shares a similar passion for going above-and-beyond to deliver exceptional guest experiences and we're excited about starting this new chapter for our company.

When the transaction is complete later this year, it will bring together three great brands together as part of one family. The combination will create a diversified cruise operator with a full spectrum of offerings that range from family cruising on Norwegian's innovative Freestyle Cruising ships, to the country-club casual experience on Oceania's fleet, to the all-inclusive, more intimate experience afforded by Regent Seven Seas Cruises' luxury offering.

For the Regent Seven Seas Cruises brand, our mission will be to preserve the distinct offerings, guest experiences and unique onboard culture our guests cherish onboard our ships while always exploring ways to further enhance our luxury experience.

Thank you for choosing Regent Seven Seas Cruises for your dream cruise vacation. We look forward to welcoming you onboard in the near future and for many years to come.The email was signed by Frank Del Rio, CEO Prestige Cruises and Kevin Sheehan CEO of Norwegian Cruise Line.

A Google search shortly after the initial shock from this email found articles from the sources such as the New York Times explaining the deal, “Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings agreed on Tuesday to buy the privately held Prestige Cruises International for $3 billion in cash and stock, including the assumption of debt, to add higher-end trips to its fleet of offerings.”

Innovative, but hardy as upscale as RSSC or Oceania Cruises, Norwegian Cruise Lines image will be greatly enhanced by its pending control of the high-end products.

The newest of its fleet and most innovative is the 4,000-passenger Norwegian Getaway which debuted on January 10, 2014. It is also the largest ship to homeport year-round in Miami and features 28 dining options, including seafood restaurant Ocean Blue by famed New York Iron Chef Geoffrey Zakarian and a branch of Carlo’s Bake Shop by Buddy Valastro, star of the TLC series "Cake Boss."

Norwegian operates13 ships which the company describes as “purpose-built Freestyle Cruising ships, providing guests the opportunity to enjoy a relaxed, resort style cruise vacation on some of the newest and most contemporary ships at sea.” The line was named "Europe’s Leading Cruise Line" for the seventh consecutive year, as well as "Caribbean’s Leading Cruise Line" and "World’s Leading Large Ship Cruise Line" by the World Travel Award.

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