Q – I came across your web-site by accident while searching for information on Regent Cruise Lines. I discovered that Regent Cruise Lines, as of November 2015, will be taken over by NCL. Because of the buy-out/take-over would it be wise to book a cruise with Regent in September/October? We are concerned that the disruption that goes with take-overs would be a problem re service, etc.
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A – No – you are right to question this but NCL is owned by Genting Hong Kong who just brought Crystal Cruises and they have significant financial support from the Apollo Group which funded Prestige Holdings the company that managed/owned both Regent Seven Seas as well as Oceania. Regent Seven Seas is now the luxury brand in the world’s third largest cruise group and in Frank Del Rio, NCL’s overall Chairman, there is extremely competent and strong leadership at the top.
The Carnival Group owns Seabourn, one of the top cruise lines in the world. The three major lines want mid-range (Azamara/Oceania) products their guests can “book up to” while also offering corporate products tot he luxury cruiser. We have some connection to the NCL Group and we would simply say that your concerns are ill-founded. Like Carnival and Royal Caribbean, NCL is setting up a series of brands at each of the major pricing levels. Regent Seven Seas has been making money of late and the likelihood is that some of the marketing strengths at the line will show up in other products. We are already seeing, for instance, that Oceania is beginning to offer free shore excursions, as Regent has been doing, on 2016 European sailings to early bookers. This will affect 146 Oceania sailings so it is a major step. Regent Seven Seas is in significantly better financial shape than it was even one year ago. Book them with confidence.