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Who owns Royal Caribbean cruises, and which cruise lines does Royal Caribbean own?

Royal Caribbean International is one of the most recognized brands in the cruise industry. With nearly 30 ships in its fleet, it’s also the largest. For several years running, it has operated vessels that, one after the other, held the title of world’s largest cruise ship.

If you’ve ever wondered who owns Royal Caribbean International, you’ve come to the right place. The line is owned and operated by Royal Caribbean Group (formerly Royal Caribbean Cruise, Ltd.), which also includes Celebrity Cruises and Silversea Cruises.

Here’s a rundown with more specifics for each of the Royal Caribbean Group brands.

Editor’s note: Royal Caribbean Group also owns 50% of the entity that operates German cruise lines Hapag-Lloyd Cruises and TUI Cruises. Because Royal Caribbean Group is not the full owner, I haven’t included these two brands below.

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Celebrity Cruises

A cruise ship -- Celebrity Ascent -- floats in the water with the sun, blue sky and clouds behind it.
Celebrity Ascent anchored near the Bahamas. ASHLEY KOSCIOLEK/THE POINTS GUY

Celebrity Cruises began in 1988 as a Greek cruise line offering an experience that was slightly more elevated than the likes of other cruise lines that were operating at the time. In 1997, Celebrity was acquired by what was then Royal Caribbean Cruises, Ltd., making it Royal Caribbean’s sister cruise line (currently the only sisterhood in the industry that offers reciprocity for loyalty status) and ushering in a new era of ships for the fleet.

Now, Celebrity sails more than a dozen vessels and still offers the same upmarket experience for which it was founded. It features a high-end vibe that’s not all-inclusive, which allows fares to remain affordable when compared to luxury lines.

The ships’ cabins are comfortable and well-appointed, the entertainment is high-energy, and the nightlife is lively. Sailings tend to attract young professionals and couples, as well as families with adult children, thanks to an ambience that’s trendy without being tacky.

Related: All you need to know about Celebrity Cruises

Royal Caribbean International

Wonder of the Seas
Wonder of the Seas Royal Caribbean. MICHEL VERDURE/ROYAL CARIBBEAN

Royal Caribbean was born in 1968, sailing voyages from Miami to the Caribbean on the line’s first ship, Song of Norway. Since then, the fleet has grown considerably and now sails to many parts of the world.

Offering award-winning kids clubs, excellent dining options and creative entertainment — as well as a variety of wow-factor amenities like onboard surfing, skydiving and zip lining — Royal Caribbean attracts lots of active travelers and families with children.

Since the line has so many ships, it’s easy to find one that meets your needs, whether you’re seeking a smaller, older vessel with affordable cabins or the newest, largest and flashiest ships with exclusive (read: pricey) suite areas.

Related: All you need to know about Royal Caribbean

Silversea Cruises

Silver Nova

The cruise industry’s first all-inclusive luxury brand, Silversea Cruises, debuted in 1994. In 2018, Royal Caribbean Group acquired two-thirds of the line and purchased the remaining bit in 2020.

Silversea’s fares include high-end perks, such as all-suite accommodations with butler service, as well as flights and transfers. This allows passengers to have a truly seamless door-to-gangway (and back again) cruise experience.

The Silversea fleet comprises 11 ships — seven classic oceangoing vessels and four expedition ships — that carry between 100 and 728 passengers each. In addition to their smaller size and more intimate onboard experience, the vessels provide understated elegance with elements like marble bathrooms and Bulgari bath products.

Related: All you need to know about Silversea Cruises

Royal Caribbean Group FAQ

Is Carnival owned by Royal Caribbean?

No. Carnival Cruise Line is owned and operated by Carnival Corporation & PLC.

Is Celebrity owned by Royal Caribbean?

Yes. Celebrity Cruises is owned and operated by Royal Caribbean Group, the same parent company that owns and operates Royal Caribbean International.

Is Norwegian Cruise Line owned by Royal Caribbean?

No. Norwegian Cruise Line is owned and operated by Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings.

Who is the sister company of Royal Caribbean?

Royal Caribbean has two sister brands, Celebrity Cruises and Silversea Cruises. All three brands fall under the Royal Caribbean Group umbrella.

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