Who Owns and Operates What in the Cruise Industry?
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As much as it surprises people to discover that Lamborghini is owned by Volkswagen and Ferrari was once predominantly owned by Fiat in the auto industry, which corporations control and operate specific cruise lines and brands is also rather fascinating. Besides a handful of independent cruise companies, the bulk of brands are owned by four corporations. Here’s how it all breaks down with a primary focus on U.S.-centric oceangoing cruise lines.
The biggest single company on the list is Carnival Corporation, which collectively deploys over a hundred ships across ten cruise lines. As one would accurately surmise, the ubiquitous Carnival Cruise Line, with 25 ships alone, is the top brand, and the latest brand is Fathom, now deploying the Adonia, (technically still operated by P&O Cruises), to the Dominican Republic and historically to Cuba.
To help differentiate its other brands, their distinctive personalities and individual source markets, the remaining eight are collected under separate groups. The Holland America Group, for instance, heads Holland America Line, P&O Cruises Australia, Princess Cruises and Seabourn Cruise Line. This just goes to show, as with cars, a luxury brand like Seabourn is, in fact, owned by what began as a singular standard line in Carnival.
Additional foreign market cruise brands are then handled by Carnival UK and the Costa Group. Carnival UK is the British umbrella over P&O Cruises and Cunard Line, which also has a large American client base. Meanwhile, Costa Group oversees AIDA Cruises, which targets German travelers, and Costa Cruises, which mostly focuses on Italian cruisers.
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