Kloster Cruise has announced that it has sold the Norwegian Cruise Line ship Southward to Airtours of Great Britain. The purchase price was $24 million.
Delivery to Airtours is expected in January of 1995 at which point NCL will no longer have any ship sailing from Los Angeles. The 753-passenger, 16,607-ton Southward is sailing three- and four-day cruises from Los Angeles accounting for about 15 percent of NCL’s annual passenger capacity.
The purchase includes a provision for Kloster to fund certain drydock and refurbishment costs that are expected to range between $3.1 and 54.2 million overall. In addition, Kloster will provide maritime and marine, and hotel management services for Airtour’s new cruise line for a two year period, and Kloster will operate the vessel for Airtours in its new Mediterranean itineraries.
Kloster will receive management fees for operating the vessel which are expected to be between $1.6 and $2.4 million over a two year period. As a result, net proceeds to Kloster from the entire transaction will range from between $21.4 million and $23.7 million. When the transaction closes, the expected book profit from the sale will be approximately $10 million, according to a prepared statement from Kloster.
The Southward was built in 1971. The only ship left of NCL’s original-so-called “white fleet” is the Starward, which sails seven-day cruises from San Juan.
Airtours is the second largest tour company in Great Britain.