Azamara eyes more ships with backing of private equity owner

The president of Azamara has revealed the line will be adding more ships to its fleet, thanks to backing from its private equity owner, Sycamore.

Speaking on a visit to the UK, president Carol Cabezas, said: “It will be a larger fleet. I can’t say yet what that looks like, but I can say that Sycamore did not buy us for it to be just a four-ship fleet.”

Cabezas would not be drawn on whether the line would continue acquiring and refurbishing existing vessels or build some of its own, but she said Sycamore wanted to “make a difference”.

“When they acquired us, we were the perfect size; they didn’t have to create a brand or worry about staff and talent. It was all already done, but were weren’t so big that they can’t make their mark and make a difference,” she said.

Sycamore acquired Azamara from Royal Caribbean Cruises in 2021.

“We knew what the marketplaces were going to say about a PE firm coming in. They thought Sycamore would break it up, take costs out, but they have actually been really supportive. They immediately gave us another ship and doubled our staff shoreside,” said Cabezas.

Commenting on future growth plans, she added: “We want to demonstrate that we’re going to have more growth in this brand. And as travel partners pick which horses they are going to back, we want them to see that Azamara is the one that’s going to have all the excitement.”

She said a restructure of the UK sales team was to “position ourselves for future growth”.

“The market is coming back. Now is the time that we need to get back in the game. The UK has been leading the path in terms of the markets across the globe. We’re incredibly grateful to the UK, but we have to invest more – in marketing dollars and in incentives,” said Cabezas.

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