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Carol Cabezas, president of Azamara, wants travel advisors to know that the line’s acquisition by a private equity firm will not mean any changes in terms of the line’s relationship with the trade.
Royal Caribbean Group said today that it will sell its Azamara brand to private equity firm Sycamore Partners for $201 million in cash.
“Nothing will change in terms of how we work with them,” said Cabezas, referring to travel advisors. “Our entire team is in place, they will continue to work with all the same people they are used to having great business-building conversations with. I think some folks are a little confused that things are going to change. They will not.”
Cabezas said that Sycamore understands the importance of the industry’s relationships with agents.
“It’s been a part of the education process as they were working with us to get this deal to the finish line,” she said. “They’ve taken a lot of time to understand how this business works — the cruise business and this very involved relationship with travel advisors, which is different from other industries.”
Cabezas acknowledged that there is a benefit to being in a family of cruise brands but said Azamara “can stand on its own in terms of what we offer.” And while leaving Royal Caribbean Group is “bittersweet,” she said Sycamore loves the product and plans to grow it.
“Our team is in place, we’re happy about what’s coming, we’ll have great opportunities for the brand and for all of us,” Cabezas said. “It’s a fantastic day for our brand.”