5 companies owned by CCL


Carnival Corp. (CCL) is a global cruise line. It operates as a dual-listed company with Carnival Plc (CCL.L), but the two separate legal entities operate as a single economic entity through contractual agreements. CCL shares are traded as on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) while CCL.L shares are traded on the London Stock Exchange (LSE). The company offers cruises through a range of brands that operate in various geographic locations in North America, Europe and Australia. Its brands cater to different price points, lifestyles and cultures as well as entertainment and vacation preferences. Carnival recorded a net loss of $ 10.2 billion on revenue of $ 5.6 billion in fiscal year (FY) 2020, which ended November 30, 2020. CCL’s market capitalization was $ 27.4 billion and that of CCL.L was £ 18.8 billion ($ 25.2 billion) as of November 10, 2021.

Carnival’s leading brand is Carnival Cruise Line, which was founded in 1972 by entrepreneur Ted Arison. Carnival Cruise Line was originally formed as part of a subsidiary of American International Travel Service (AITS). The company started with a single second-hand transatlantic liner which it transformed into a cruise liner and renamed Mardi Gras. In 1974, Arison bought Carnival Cruise Line for $ 1 and assumed AITS debt of $ 5 million. At this point, the cruise line was still a small operator struggling to survive. But it managed to grow steadily in size and popularity, and went public in 1987 through an initial public offering (IPO). The money raised during the IPO provided the company with the capital it needed to continue its expansion through acquisitions. The company, which was renamed Carnival Corp. in the early 1990s, has since built a portfolio of globally recognized cruise brands. Below, we take a closer look at five of these brands.

Holland America Line NV

  • Type of activity: Cruise company
  • Acquisition price: $ 625 million
  • Acquisition date: November 1988 (announced)

Holland America Line has its origins in the founding of a shipping and passenger company called the Netherlands-American Steamship Co. in 1873. For the first 25 years since its founding, the company had a fleet of six cargo and passenger ships. which it operated between Holland and the Dutch East Indies. The company would become known over time as Holland America Line due to its headquarters in the Dutch city of Rotterdam. In 1989, Carnival Cruise Line officially acquired the company, further strengthening its position as the largest cruise line in terms of passenger numbers. Holland America Line now operates a fleet of 10 vessels sailing to more than 425 ports in more than 100 countries.

Seabourn Cruise Line Ltd.

  • Type of activity: Ultra-luxury cruise line
  • Acquisition price: $ 15 million (initial 25% stake); $ 10 million (additional 25% participation); amount unknown (remaining 50% stake in 1998)
  • Date of acquisition: 1992 (25% of the capital); 1995-1996 (25% of the capital); 1998-1999 (remaining 50% stake)

Seabourn Cruise Line was founded in 1988 with the launch of the 208-passenger Seabourn Pride. The idea for the cruise line was born two years earlier among a small group of luxury hospitality and cruise executives looking to reinvent luxury cruising. When Seabourn Pride was first launched, it offered: spacious rooms with all suites; public spaces designed for relaxed socialization; and a stern designed as a private seaside resort. Just four years later, in 1992, Carnival agreed to purchase a 50% stake in Seabourn through two separate ten-year loans of $ 15 million and $ 10 million. With the $ 15 million loan, Carnival acquired an initial 25% stake in Seabourn. The second loan of $ 10 million guaranteed an additional 25% stake at the end of 1995. In 1998, the company purchased the remaining 50% interest in Seabourn. At the same time, Carnival acquired Cunard Line Ltd. and combined it with Seabourn. Today, Seabourn operates a fleet of three 458 passenger ships and two 600 passenger ships providing ultra-luxury cruising experience to more than 400 destinations around the world.


  • Type of activity: Cruise company
  • Acquisition price: approx. $ 141 million (for an initial 50% stake), part of the joint purchase price of $ 270 million with Airtours Plc; about. $ 515 million (remaining stake)
  • Date of acquisition: 1997 (initial participation of 50%); 2000 (remaining participation)

Costa made his first voyage from Genoa to Buenos Aires in 1948 with a transatlantic liner named “Anna C”. In the 1960s, the Italy-based company was Europe’s largest cruise line. Costa was jointly acquired in 1997 by Carnival and Airtours, each of the two companies purchasing a respective 50% stake. Three years later, Carnival bought the remaining stake in Costa from Airtours for approximately $ 515 million. The acquisition of Costa strengthened Carnival’s presence in the fast-growing European market. Costa is now the parent company of Costa Cruise Lines and AIDA Cruises. Today, Costa operates a fleet of 10 vessels and visits over 260 ports around the world. AIDA is the leader in the German speaking cruise market and currently operates a fleet of 14 cruise ships.

Cunard Line Ltd.

  • Type of activity: Luxury cruise line
  • Acquisition price: $ 500 million (initial 68% stake); $ 205 million (remaining stake)
  • Date of acquisition: 1998 (initial stake of 68%); 1999 (remaining 32% stake)

The Cunard Line was founded in 1840 by veteran and lumber merchant Samuel Cunard. It began by providing postal services in Canada’s maritime region before expanding its services across the Atlantic and establishing itself as an international shipping company. During the 1880s, Cunard transported over a million of the 2.5 million people seeking to settle in the United States. The business continued to grow and develop over the next century. Cunard operated five luxury cruise ships in 1998, the year Carnival and a group of investors bought its operating assets for $ 500 million. Carnival acquired a 68% stake in the cruise line and consolidated it with Seabourn, whose company had simultaneously purchased the remaining stake. In 1999, Carnival purchased the remaining 32% stake in Cunard in a deal valued at $ 205 million. The purchase of Cunard, the world’s largest luxury cruise operator at the time, made Carnival the world’s largest cruise line. Cunard currently operates three luxury cruise ships.

P&O Cruises

  • Type of activity: Cruise company
  • Acquisition price: approx. $ 7.3 to $ 7.8 billion
  • Acquisition date: April 2003

P&O Cruises was founded in 1837 as Peninsular & Oriental Steam Navigation Co. While the company started out primarily with courier transport, it went on to offer its first leisure cruise from London to the Mediterranean in 1844. The cruise would gradually become a more regular activity in the mid-1880s. In 2003, the company’s cruise business, known as P&O Princess Cruises Plc, was acquired by Carnival for between $ 7 billion and $ 8 billion. The acquisition included Princess Cruises, P&O Cruises, P&O Cruises Australia and tour operator Princess Tours. The merger between the two companies led to the formation of the double-listed company – Carnival Corp. and Carnival Plc – discussed in the introduction above. This made Carnival the number one cruise line in the world. Today, Carnival operates P&O under two separate brands: P&O Cruises (UK), which operates a fleet of five premium vessels; and P&O Cruises (Australia), which operates a fleet of three vessels.

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