Radisson Planning to Build More Ships

Radisson Hotels is said to be planning to build four more cruise ships, including two twin­ hulled and two mono-hulled vessels, and is reportedly prepared to spend more than $500 million on the new ships.

Radisson Seven SeasDiamond Cruises, the Miami-based sales and marketing organization for the new Radisson Diamond, is also being strengthened. Mark Conroy is coming on board as new President and CEO as of June 15. He was formerly President of Renaissance Cruises. Mike Smith is already on board as Senior Vice President of Marketing and Sales. He was previously Vice President of Marketing at Royal Caribbean Cruise Line.

At least one of the four new ships is expected to be a sister ship to the Radisson Diamond. Diamond Cruise, owner and operator of the Radisson Diamond, has extended options on two sister ships at Finnyards. The option on the second ship, however, was not exercised by the board as expected last spring pending improved sales results.

Sources in Miami said that the intention was never to be a one-ship operation and that an option on a sister ship to the Radisson Diamond was likely to be exercised within the next six months. In the meantime, Christian Aspegren, President and co­-founder of Diamond Cruise, was quoted as stating that loan financing under OECD terms is in place but that equity still has to be raised.

It is known in the industry that Radisson Hotels has also been discussing ship operations with other cruise lines, but no agreements have apparently been reached. Executives for Radisson Hotels in Minneapolis were unavailable for comment.

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