KSL Buys Orion Expedition Cruises

KSL Capital Partners has acquired Orion Expedition Cruises, a luxury expedition cruise-line serving destinations in Australia, New Zealand, the South Pacific and Antarctica. No financial terms were disclosed.



KSL Capital Partners (KSL), a leading private equity firm, today announced that it has acquired Orion Expedition Cruises (Orion), the premier luxury expedition cruise line serving pristine destinations in Australia, New Zealand, the South Pacific and Antarctica.

Founded in early 2004 by Managing Director Sarina Bratton, Orion Expedition Cruises is Australia's leading luxury expedition cruise line, undertaking voyages to destinations as diverse as Antarctica, The Kimberley region of Australia, and Papua New Guinea. After just three years of operation, Orion has garnered many awards for its unique itineraries, five-star accommodations and exceptional cuisine.

“Travelers' desire for experience-driven, sustainable tourism is not a passing trend,” Bratton explained. “Demand for niche-, culture- and nature-based tourism is increasing, and Orion must grow in order to fulfill its potential. I am very excited about the opportunity this partnership presents and look forward to working with KSL to take Orion Expedition Cruises to the next level. Expansion of the brand beyond Australia will require additional capital and distribution power in the United States and Europe, and our partnership with KSL will fuel this opportunity.”

Steven Siegel, partner and chief operating officer of KSL Capital Partners, said, “We have long sought to invest in the cruise business, as the fundamentals of the industry are very strong. Our investment in Orion Expedition Cruises will see the company grow to a multi-ship cruise line, fulfilling the potential of the brand in the Australia Pacific region and beyond. We are looking forward to working with Orion and its management team.” 

About KSL


KSL Capital Partners is a private equity firm specializing in travel and leisure enterprises in five primary sectors: hospitality, recreation, clubs, real estate and travel services. KSL Capital Partners has offices in Denver, New York and London. For more information, please visit www.kslcapital.com.



About Orion Expedition Cruises


Founded in 2004 in Sydney, Australia, Orion Expedition Cruises provides luxury expedition cruises to seldom-explored destinations in Australia, New Zealand, the South Pacific and Antarctica. Orion's vessel, the MV Orion, is ranked the No. 2 expedition cruise vessel in the world according to the Berlitz Cruise Guide for 2008. In addition, the MV Orion has been named the Best Small Ship, Best Adventure Cruise Ship and Best Cuisine by Australian Cruise Passenger Magazine two years in a row, and has been named a finalist as Best Small Cruise Line and Best Small Cruise Ship by Luxury Travel Magazine, and a Finalist for Best Innovative Tourism and Best Tour Operator by the Australian Travel and Tourism Awards.          


Sarina Bratton, Orion's founder and managing director, is a well-respected veteran of the cruise industry. Previously, Bratton was founder and managing director of Norwegian Capricorn Line, and vice president and general manager, Asia Pacific for Cunard Line, as well as a former director of Voyages Resorts and Hotels. In addition, she holds several senior board positions in the Australian tourism industry and is the 2006 winner of the Veuve Clicquot Business Woman of the Year in Australia.