Who owns the various cruise lines?
Micky Arison is the Chairman of Carnival Corporation, the world's largest cruise company.
Richard Fain is the Chairman of Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd.
Although there are quite a few cruise lines, as a result of a period of industry consolidation at the end of the 20th Century, most cruise lines today are owned by four corporations.
The largest of these companies is Carnival Corporation. It is a holding company that owns the following cruise lines - -
Carnival Cruise Lines (24 ships)
Princess Cruises (16 ships)
Holland America Line (15 ships)
Costa (14 ships)
P&O Cruises (7 ships)
Cunard (3 ships)
Seabourn (5 ships)
AIDA (8 ships)
P&O Cruises Australia (3 ships)
Iberocruceros (3 ships)
The total passenger capacity for these lines is over 190,000.
Note that Carnival Corporation is not the same company as Carnival Cruise Lines. Yes, Carnival Corporation came about as a result of the success of Carnival Cruise Lines but it is a different corporation.
The second largest cruise corporation is Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. (“RCCL”). It is the holding company for the following cruise lines - -
Royal Caribbean International (22 ships)
Celebrity Cruises (11 ships),
Pullmantur (5 ships)
Azamara Club Cruises (2 ships)
CDF Croisieres de France (1 ship)
Royal also has a 50 percent ownership interest in TUI Cruises (2 ships).
Although RCCL has fewer ships than Carnival, its ships tend to be larger giving it a passenger capacity of approximately 92,000.
Again, as with Carnival, note that despite the similarity in the name, the company that owns these cruise lines is not the cruise line Royal Caribbean International (“RCI”). RCI is a subsidiary of the holding company RCCL.
Both Carnival Corporation and RCCL are public corporation with shares traded on the stock exchanges.
Two companies are running neck and neck for the honor of being the third largest cruise line. Norwegian Cruise Line is owned by Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. It is also a public corporation traded on the stock exchanges. However, it is controlled by Apollo Management Ltd. and Genting Hong Kong Limited, who owned Norwegian in its entirely prior to the initial public offering in January 2013.
Norwegian currently has 11 ships in service with a capacity of approximately 22,000 berths. (A new ship with another 4,000 berths will join the fleet in April 2013. A sister ship is on order for delivery in 2014).
Approximately the same size as Norwegian, MSC Cruises has 12 ships with a passenger capacity of over 28,000. It is a subsidiary of the giant cargo shipping company Mediterranean Shipping Company.
Apart from the big four, there are a number of smaller cruise lines. For example, FredOlsen Cruises Ltd., operates four ships with a capacity of 3,800 passengers. It is owned by the Norwegian-based Fred Olsen Group.
Within the luxury segment of the industry, Oceania Cruises (4 ships) and Regent Seven Seas Cruises (3 ships) are owned by Prestige Cruise Holdings, which was formed in 2007 to manage some of Apollo Management’s cruise holdings.
Silversea Cruises (6 ships) is family-owned.
Crystal Cruises (2 ships) is owned by the Japanese shipping company NYK, which also owns NYK Cruises, operator of the Asuka II.
Beyondships cruise ship FAQs - - Who owns the various cruise lines?