V.Ships Leisure will be playing a key role in Azamara going forward and has been named the vessel manager for the Azamara Onward, providing technical and crew management, according to Per Bjornsen, CEO, V.Ships Leisure.
Azamara’s new owner, private equity firm Sycamore Partners, tapped V.Ships Leisure to manage the 1999-built ship as it grows the Azamara fleet from three to four vessels.
V.Ships Leisure took the ship over from Carnival Corporation where it was the Pacific Princess until March 15.
“We first sent observers onboard, which was a complex process with COVID-19. With testing and then quarantines onboard, it was a smooth transition however,” said Bjornsen, who also added a drydock and revitalization is being planned to transition the ship into the Azamara brand and standards. The company has overseen the handover and management of a number of cruise ships moving out of the Carnival Corporation fleet to new owners over the last year.
In addition, V.Ships Leisure supported Sycamore from an early stage with advisory, ship inspections and technical due diligence, and in due time will take over the technical management of Azamara’s three other ships: the Azamara Journey, the Azamara Quest and the Azamara Pursuit.
Overseeing that process during a pandemic was no easy task, but helped by V.Ships Leisure’s network of offices around the world, providing local experts that can easily get to the ships, Bjornsen said.
For Sycamore, an investor coming into the industry from outside the maritime world, V.Ships Leisure is able to provide a plug-and-play operating platform, Bjornsen noted.
“They are de-coupling Azamara from a large cruise group. How do you do that? We provide access to skills, scale and systems.”