Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. entered into a deal with Madrid based private equity firm Springwater Capital in May to sell a 51% stake in Pullmantur and Croisières de France (CDF) cruise brands. Under the agreement, the two parties will form a joint venture dedicated to bringing cruise experiences tailored to Spanish and French tourists through the management of the two brands. Furthermore, RCL will have a 49% stake, and retain full ownership of the ships and aircraft currently operated by Pullmantur and CDF, which will be leased into the joint venture. RCL will also provide marine operations services to Pullmantur and CDF through a management agreement. The joint venture is expected to be completed later in 2016, subject to customary conditions and regulatory approvals. Just three days after the Harmony of the Seas had made her debut at Southampton, Royal Caribbean’s Strategic Operation Officer, Mike Jones and Managing Director of UK and Ireland, Stuart Leven, announced a seven-year deal with the port of Southampton, worth £200 million to the local economy, at the official Plaques and Keys ceremony aboard the Harmony of the Seas. The deal secures Southampton’s City Cruise Terminal as the official UK home of Royal Caribbean International and secures £5.5 million’s worth of investment from the cruise company. The investment has so far enabled Associated British Ports (ABP), owner and operator of the Southampton port, to prepare the terminal for a new generation of ships heralded by the arrival of the Harmony. The improvements made to the terminal have been designed to enhance the embarkation experiences for both passenger and crew. New paperless check-in for passengers and a kerb-to gangway processing of only 10 minutes makes it the fastest route from home-to-international holiday for holidaymakers.
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