Celestyal Cruises to ‘amplify brand’ following private equity investment

Celestyal Cruises has unveiled plans to expand its operations with the support of Searchlight Capital Partners, a global private investment firm.

The agreement with the cruise line and its parent company Louis Group, will see Searchlight make an investment into a new holding company, Celestyal Holdings.

Celestyal said it will be able to “amplify its brand globally, build upon its success and expand its operational footprint, while growing and renewing its fleet”.

The line will continue to operate its fleet of two ships from its offices in Piraeus, Greece, with its current global management team leading the business.

Celestyal Cruises CEO Chris Theophilides said: “Prior to the pandemic, Celestyal was on a fast growth trajectory, and Searchlight’s infusion of capital will propel our growth strategy and accelerate our fleet renewal plan.

“We are extremely pleased to have Searchlight as a strategic partner and are eager to join forces with them to build on our positive momentum, amplify our global brand awareness and elevate our award-winning guest experience, taking it to new heights.

“Our 2022 season is already looking solid and with this significant development, we are extremely excited about Celestyal’s journey ahead.”

Searchlight partner Ralf Ackermann added: “The cruise industry has shown a tremendous amount of resilience coming out of the pandemic, and as Greece’s major, home-porting cruise line, Celestyal Cruises has played a pivotal role in the country’s strong tourism recovery.

“We are excited to support Chris and his management team and to work with the Louis Group to be involved in the next chapter of Celestyal’s growth.

“We believe this partnership will help to reinforce the company’s position as the leading cruise operator in the eastern Mediterranean region and enhance its uniquely authentic experiences and operating footprint.”

Celestyal Cruises was forced to sell its flagship vessel, Celestyal Experience, in September 2021. At the time the line said the move would “provide the company with enhanced liquidity”.

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