Norwegian Cruise Line has confirmed it will buy Prestige Cruises International from its owner Apollo Global Management for a fee of $3 billion.
The deal sees NCL, the third largest of the major cruise lines, expand its high-end luxury cruise offerings.
Prestige registered with US regulators for an initial public offering in January.
The organisation owns upper-premium cruise operator Oceania Cruises and luxury cruise operator Regent Seven Seas Cruises.
It operates eight ships, with about 6,500 berths.
Miami-based Norwegian Cruise operates 13 cruise ships in routes spanning North America, the Mediterranean, the Baltic, Central America and the Caribbean.
“The combination of three distinct brands, each serving a different market segment, under one umbrella immediately creates an industry-leading cruise operator with an unmatched growth trajectory and a portfolio of products that allows us to appeal to guests at every stage of their life cycle,” said NCL chief executive Kevin Sheehan.
“We are fully committed to retaining the brand propositions, guest experiences and cultures of the Norwegian, Oceania and Regent brands that have allowed each to realise such success.”
The $29 billion cruise industry is expected to benefit in the coming years from the rise of the middle class in emerging economies such as China and India.
Companies are racing to position themselves as the cruise operators of choice for these new customers.
NCL took delivery of Norwegian Getaway earlier this year
Apollo had a 20 per cent stake in Norwegian Cruise as of June 30th, according to a regulatory filing.
The deal will immediately add to earnings, and result in $25 million in initial savings, Norwegian Cruise said on Tuesday.
“The acquisition of Prestige represents an extraordinary opportunity for Norwegian Cruise Line to expand our market presence by adding two established, award-winning brands in the upscale cruise segment with loyal followings,” added Sheehan.
“Not only does this acquisition immediately enhance our financial performance, but it also deepens the bench of talent that we have been developing over the years.”
Norwegian recently took delivery of its most innovative ship to date, the 4,000-passenger Norwegian Getaway in the first quarter 2014.
Norwegian currently has four vessels on order at Meyer Werft for delivery in fall 2015, spring 2017, spring 2018 and fall 2019.
Norwegian Cruise Line is recognised as the World’s Leading Large Ship Cruise Line by the World Travel Awards.