easyGroup has sold its easyCruise cruise business to Greek ferry operator Hellenic Seaways for a reported €9 million, which includes both the brand and its 574-passenger cruise ship EasyCruise Life.
The sale comes as part of Stelios Haji-Ioannou’s drive to divest his less profitable businesses.
The British/Cypriot entrepreneur launched the brand in 2005 in an attempt to open up cruising to a younger audience who wished to spend the majority of their time on shore rather than on board a megaship. However with time is has evolved from its original no-frill concept to becoming more like a traditional cruise line.
Hellenic operates a fleet of 32 fast ferries in Greece. The acquisition marks its expansion into the leisure cruise market for the first time.
Under the terms of the deal, Hellenic has been granted the right to continue using the easyCruise brand to all destinations in the Mediterranean.
The sale follows Haji-Ioannou investing, via easyGroup, in Sea Star Capital, one of the main share holders of Hellenic Seaways.
“Stelios has always used different shareholding structures to finance the development of the easy brand so for our partners and customers it is business as usual at easyCruise,” said a spokesman for the cruise line.