Royal Caribbean has sold its Azamara brand including 4 ships for $201 million as the company continues to push back 2021 sail dates

Azamara Question in 2017.
  • Royal Caribbean has sold its Azamara cruise line brand to Sycamore Partners for $201 million.

  • The Azamara deal is the latest shakeup in a list of cruise industry disruptions amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Royal Caribbean has sold its Azamara cruise line for $201 million while cruises in the US remain docked during the COVID-19 pandemic, the company announced Friday.

Sycamore Partners, the private equity firm purchasing Azamara in cash, now owns the cruising brand and its fleet of four ships, including one that was just acquired. Carol Cabezas, Azamara's COO, will serve as president of the cruise line, according to a press release from January when the agreement was first announced.

"Azamara remains a strong brand with its own tremendous potential for growth," Richard Fain, chairman and CEO of the Royal Caribbean Group, said in a statement in January.

Read more: COVID-19 has created a once-in-a-lifetime crisis for Carnival and Royal Caribbean, but after surviving hijackings and shipwrecks, the industry looks unsinkable

The ownership change also results in a $170 million non-cash impairment charge. According to Royal Caribbean, this Azamara sale won't "materially impact" the cruise company's financial outcomes.

Unsurprisingly, recent months haven't exactly been smooth sailing for Royal Caribbean. In December, Royal Caribbean announced it had sold its Empress and Majesty of the Seas cruise ships. Just several months prior, the cruise company reported it had lost $1.3 billion in its third quarter, the Miami Herald reported.

This Azamara announcement and Royal Caribbean's difficulties are only some of the shakeups in the long list of cruise industry disruptions that have happened in the face of the coronavirus pandemic. From stranded crew members to refund issues to a "wasted year," things have been looking a bit bleak for cruise companies around the world.

However, according to Royal Caribbean, this latest deal will allow the mega cruise company to "focus on expanding" its Royal Caribbean, Celebrity, and Silversea Cruises brands.

Read more: Carnival and Royal Caribbean salaries revealed: From $32,000 to $383,000, here's how much the cruise industry's power players pay some of their employees

The sail date for these cruise lines, and other cruises around the US, still remain to be seen as the coronavirus pandemic continues to rage on.

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