Sitmar International, parent company of Sitmar Cruises, has announced that it has enlarged its shareholder base as a result of a partial stock purchase by private European-based interests outside the cruise industry.

The principals of the new shareholding group are reported to be close, long-standing friends of the late owner, Boris Vlasov, whose family trust had until now owned 100 percent of Sitmar Cruises. A company statement says that Vlasov had initiated the negotiations before his sudden death in early November.