Azamara is the “right size” for private equity investment, according to new president Carol Cabezas.

The three-ship line was acquired by Sycamore Partners from its parent Royal Caribbean Group earlier this week and Cabezas told Travel Weekly the long-term plan included expanding the current fleet.

She said Sycamore was focussed on “identifying brands that are known, recognised and very well respected”.

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“What they saw in Azamara is a brand that has recognition – which got them excited in becoming an investor in our future,” she added.

“They are enabling us to be a standalone brand, control our own destiny and continue the great work of the beautiful product our teams on board deliver under normal circumstances.”

She said Sycamore had been “looking at the cruise space” and considered Azamara as “the right size” to invest in, meaning “no so big that continuing to invest is diminishing returns” yet “not so small that there’s a lot of heavy lifting of brand-building.”

“It’s almost like a Goldilocks scenario,” she added. “We are the right size to be able to continue to expand on something that is really well-done and just needs the right amount of investment.”

Once the deal closes, in the next 60 days, Azamara will “slowly start building our infrastructure so we can stand on our own,” explained Cabezas, who said plans have already been drawn up to “enable a transition”.

Changes will include a new stand-alone reservation system and customer relationship department. “It’s great to be able to leverage the newest technology and start fresh,” Cabezas said, noting that the Royal Caribbean Group would help Azamara in the transition.

She said her “number one” priority had been “making sure our employees feel comfortable, because they are most impacted” by the takeover. She also noted the importance of keeping in touch with employees throughout the pandemic.