Kevin Sheehan Steps Back Into the Cruising Spotlight

Image: Norwegian CEO Kevin Sheehan and artist Guy Harvey (Theresa Norton)
Image: Norwegian CEO Kevin Sheehan and artist Guy Harvey (Theresa Norton)
Jason Leppert
by Jason Leppert
Last updated: 3:00 AM ET, Thu January 5, 2017

Former President and CEO of Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Limited, Kevin Sheehan is returning to the cruise industry on two fronts: as Non-Executive Chairman of CruisingStore.com and stakeholder in Paradise Cruise Line.

When the upcoming new CruisingStore.com website was recently announced, it was revealed that Sheehan is involved. He was even quoted as saying, "Our goal in building CruisingStore.com is to provide completely new ways to shop for and compare cruises. We are taking the whole concept of cruise travel to the next level and providing consumers and cruise lines with a ground-breaking platform in CruisingStore.com that is certain to shake up the entire cruise marketplace."

[READMORE]READ MORE: CruisingStore.com Set to Launch as New Travel Platform in January 2017[/READMORE]

Now, Seatrade Cruise News is reporting that he and entrepreneur Oneil Khosa are buying into a cruise line, the newly formed Paradise Cruise Line. The company is set to lease and operate the Grand Celebration to the Bahamas.

The Grand Celebration was initially built and launched for Carnival Cruise Line in 1987 before most recently sailing under Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line since 2014. The new company has seemingly dropped Bahamas from its name but plans to continue deploying the ship year-round to the region every other day from Palm Beach, Florida.

Like Sheehan, Khosa has a maritime background as the CEO of Blue Ocean Cruises/Louis Cruises India in 2009, and he was a first officer for Royal Caribbean Cruises Limited before that in 1993. Since leaving Norwegian in 2015 after a seven-year tenure, Sheehan has most recently served as CEO and President of Scientific Games Corp.

[READMORE]READ MORE: Sheehan Exit Has Industry Asking: What Is Going On At Norwegian?[/READMORE]

So, to what end are Sheehan's latest endeavors? Khosa said Paradise Cruise Line intends to increase its capacity. That could mean an eventual larger replacement for the Grand Celebration or an additional ship. Coming from heading Norwegian and some of the newest cruise ships in the world, it would be surprising if Sheehan did not have ambitions for some form of new-build or at least a dramatically transformed existing vessel or vessels under the new venture.

If enough equity is in play, that could even include putting a bid in for a smaller operation such as Azamara Club Cruises. As the new likes of Virgin Voyages anticipates its launch and Viking Ocean Cruises continues to expand, there's surely a larger picture to emerge from Sheehan's plans. It's also possible that CruisingStore.com could be an ideal platform from which to launch something new in the near future.

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Jason Leppert

Jason Leppert

Jason Leppert - Senior Writer, Cruises and Cruise Travel - is a San Diego-based cruising expert with more than 100 sailings...

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