Royal Caribbean Partners to Develop Cruise Port Infrastructure

Royal Caribbean has announced a deal with infrastructure investment company iCON to develop port infrastructure worldwide.

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Royal Caribbean Group has announced a new partnership with iCON Infrastructure Partners to develop cruise port infrastructure in support of the company’s growth plans. The coalition aims to own, design, and manage cruise terminal facilities and infrastructure in home ports and critical ports of call.

It will initially include PortMiami Terminal A and several development projects in Italy, Spain, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. It will also pursue additional port infrastructure expansions based on projects as part of Royal Caribbean Group’s destination development strategy.

Royal Caribbean Group Expansion Plans

Royal Caribbean Group’s financial plans include exploring the possibility of expanding its owned and operated ports and homeports worldwide. A cruise company capable of running its own ports will save significantly on port fees while also developing a monopoly on prime cruise destinations. 

That’s why Royal Caribbean Group has now entered a new partnership with iCON Infrastructure Partners. Together, the two companies initially aim to own, develop, and manage cruise terminal facilities and infrastructure in the US, Spain, Italy, and the US Virgin Islands.

Royal Caribbean Cruise Ships
Photo Credit: Solarisys / Shutterstock

It will also pursue additional port infrastructure developments based on Royal Caribbean Group’s destination development strategy

Past developments from the Royal Caribbean Group include Perfect Day at CocoCay, the new cruise Terminal in Galveston, and a new to-build cruise terminal in Ravenna, Italy. Through the new partnership, the Group hopes to expand even further.

Jason Liberty, president and CEO of Royal Caribbean Group: “Our partnership with iCON is a unique opportunity to catapult us into the coming decades of port investments, build further financial strength, and provide exceptional cruising experiences, responsibly, to our guests at the best destinations in the world.”

“Over the last few years, we have developed more destinations than any other cruise company, and this new partnership will allow us to implement a capital-light investment framework to accelerate the development of strategic destinations around the world.” 

What Is iCON, and Why Does Royal Need Them?

The new partnership is owned 90% by iCON, and 10% by the Royal Caribbean Group, with an independent management team managing the partnership with strategic support from the Royal Caribbean Group. Investments in new developments will be to the same percentages. iCON will invest 90% of the cost, and Royal Caribbean group only 10%. 

iCON is a leading independent investment group focusing on investing in high-quality infrastructure assets located predominantly in North America and Europe, with extensive experience investing in ports and port-related infrastructure. 

“We are thrilled to be partnering with Royal Caribbean Group to develop, own and manage a portfolio of cruise terminals in key strategic markets,” said Iain Macleod, Managing Partner at iCON. 

“Through this partnership, we will provide world-class cruise terminal infrastructure, offering cruise guests more opportunities to see and experience the world in partnership with the Royal Caribbean Group, a world-class operator.”

The announcement from Royal Caribbean Group comes on the back end of an announcement made last month, between Royal Caribbean group and PortMiami, for a 50-year lease

This plan includes the expansion of Terminal G and upgrades to Royal Caribbean’s state-of-the-art Terminal A, which opened in 2018. While ambitious, these plans are also extremely costly. The collaboration with iCON will free up $210 million in capital that the cruise operator plans to use for its aggressive expansion plans.

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