Who Owns Celebrity Cruises?

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There aren’t that many independent cruise lines in the world – most of them are part of a larger group. And it’s useful to know which cruise lines are part of the same group, especially if you’re considering investing in cruise stocks to unlock some benefits when you sail. Because yes, if you’re a shareholder, there are perks you can enjoy on board.

Celebrity Apex sailing in the ocean

So how about Celebrity Cruises? Which group are they a part of, and what stock do you need to look out for if you want to invest? Let’s take a look.

Who Owns Celebrity Cruise Line?

Celebrity Cruises is currently part of the Royal Caribbean Group, and has been since 1997. It was originally formed by Chandris Cruises, a group based in Greece, but the brand was sold to Royal Caribbean in 1997.

This is why it’s important to be careful with naming conventions. The group is called the Royal Caribbean Group, while the cruise line that sounds similar is known as Royal Caribbean International. Celebrity Cruises is a distinct brand that offers a very different cruise experience to Royal Caribbean International.

The other major cruise line that forms part of the Royal Caribbean Group is Silversea Cruises, the luxury cruise line, which was fully acquired in 2020.

Who Is The CEO of Celebrity Cruises?

The President and CEO of Celebrity Cruises is Laura Hodges Bethge. She has been in this position since May 2023, and prior to that, she was the executive vice president of shared services operations for the Royal Caribbean Group.

Laura Hodges Bethge

Her history with the cruise company began in 2000 when she worked on the accessibility program for both Royal Caribbean and Celebrity Cruises. She’s progressed through various senior roles, including a period in Shanghai as the region’s vice president of market development..

Celebrity Cruises History

Celebrity’s history isn’t as confusing as some cruise lines like Princess Cruises – it has only been under two different groups since it was first founded in 1988.

Chandris Group – 1988 to 1997

Celebrity Cruises was a sub-brand created by the Chandris Group specifically for cruises to Bermuda. The cruise line was created because the main cruise brand of the group, Chandris Fantasy Cruises, was seen as being at the lower end of the cruise market.

When some contracts came up for priority berthing in Bermuda during the summer season, the cruise company was originally knocked back as the Government of Bermuda wanted to award the contracts to a more premium cruise line.

As such, Celebrity Cruises was founded, with an existing ship, Galileo rebuilt and renamed Meridian, while a second ship Horizon was then ordered. A third ship, named Zenith, was then delivered in 1992.

Celebrity Cruises’ first ship, Meridian.
Celebrity Cruises’ first ship, Meridian.
Photo: Svend Raether, CC BY-SA 4.0

When Did Royal Caribbean Buy Celebrity Cruises?

The Royal Caribbean Group bought Celebrity Cruises in 1997. At the time, the company was called Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines, and so it was renamed Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd and then later renamed Royal Caribbean Group in order to keep the cruise brands separate.

New ships followed quickly, while the older ships were sold off, helping to ensure that Celebrity remained a more premium alternative to the family-friendly cruising offered by Royal Caribbean International.

Read more: Celebrity Cruises ships by Age, Size & Class

Celebrity Expeditions

In 2001, following the success of the premium cruise line for Royal Caribbean Group, a new sub-brand was launched named Celebrity Expeditions, and a new ship, the Celebrity Xpedition, was acquired.

Celebrity Xpedition
Celebrity Xpedition
Photo: Diego Deslo, CC BY-SA 4.0

The intention was to offer the same premium on-board experience as Celebrity Cruises, but on smaller ships that could sail to unique, less-travelled destinations. Because the ships were smaller they couldn’t offer all of the same standards of service as the main Celebrity fleet, which is why the distinctive sub-brand was created.

Between 2007 and 2008 the ships were renamed as, up to this point, most did not have the ‘Celebrity’ prefix – so Century became Celebrity Century, and so on.

Through the 2010s, older ships were sold while the new Edge class was launched towards the end of the decade with Celebrity Edge. At the same time, the cruise line became the first to offer legally recognised gay marriages at sea.

Suggested read: The 15 Best LGBTQ+ Cruises

same sex wedding on a Celebrity cruise ship

Celebrity Cruises Net Worth

Celebrity Cruises as a brand does not have its own net worth, but the net worth of the Royal Caribbean Group is $21.85 billion as of November 2023. The revenue of Celebrity Cruises is estimated to be at around $3 billion per year.

Does Celebrity Cruises Have Stock?

You can’t buy stock in Celebrity Cruises alone, but you are able to buy shares in the Royal Caribbean Group. They are listed on the New York Stock Exchange as RCL and are one of the highest-priced cruise line stocks you can invest in.

If you become a shareholder in the Royal Caribbean Group, you can enjoy shareholder benefits whenever you sail on a cruise with either Royal Caribbean International or Celebrity Cruises. You must own 100 shares or more in order to be eligible.

The shareholder benefits are:

  • $250 onboard credit to spend per stateroom on sailings of 14 nights or more
  • $100 onboard credit to spend per stateroom on sailings from 6 to 13 nights
  • $50 onboard credit to spend per stateroom on sailings of 5 nights or fewer

You have to request the benefit in advance of sailing which you can do through the cruise line’s website and you can use it on every cruise you take, except for any Galapagos Islands sailings with Celebrity Expeditions.

Read more: Celebrity Cruise Stock Benefits Explained

How To Buy Celebrity Cruises Shares

To buy shares in Celebrity Cruises, you’ll need to buy stocks for Royal Caribbean Group (RCL). You can do this through a stockbroker, either on an online platform from your computer or smartphone or in person.

If you are certain that you want to buy RCL stock then you should use a reliable platform, as dealing with a person normally results in higher charges as they bill you for their expertise.

I can’t advise you which is the best, but I personally chose to buy my RCL shares through an online investing platform called etoro. I chose this one because it is one of the most popular platforms with 20 million registered users and has great reviews and low fees.

I’ve been very happy with my share-buying experience and found it really easy to do. But you must bear in mind that investing in any stock is a risk and you have no guarantee of making your money, and you could lose it. So only invest what you could accept losing.

(eToro is a multi-asset investment platform. The value of your investments may go up or down. Your capital is at risk.)

Read more: Royal Caribbean Shareholder Benefits Explained

To Conclude

If you’re someone who regularly sails on either Royal Caribbean or Celebrity Cruises, you might be surprised to see that two cruise lines that are so different in approach are owned by the same company.

Or maybe you can see the similarities. Royal may be family-focused and Celebrity a bit more premium, but both make use of innovative tech to create their unique offerings.

Plus, investing in shares could mean you enjoy free money to spend on-board on every holiday with both of these cruise lines in future – though be prepared to invest heavily as 100 shares won’t come cheap.

Read more: Should you invest in Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd?


Don’t miss the latest Celebrity Cruises offers…

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Cruise Mummy

Jenni Fielding is the founder of Cruise Mummy. She has worked in the cruise industry since 2015 and has taken over 30 cruises. Now, she helps over 1 million people per month to plan their perfect cruise holidays.

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