The cruise industry is maturing in an extremely competitive environment caused by its rapid expansion. As a result a series of mergers and acquisitions have taken place over the last few years, including the following:

In 1981, Cunard acquired Norwegian American Cruises and its two vessels the Sagafjord and the Vistafjord.

In 1984, Norwegian Caribbean Lines acquired Royal Viking Line.

In 1986, Cunard also acquired majority interest in Sea Goddess Cruises Limited and the vessels, Sea Goddess I and Sea Goddess II.

In 1986, Eastern Cruise Line, Western Cruise Line and Sundance Cruises merged and became Admiral Cruises.

In 1987, Ocean Cruise Lines acquired Pearl Cruises of Scandinavia and its one ship, the Pearl of Scandinavia.

In 1987, Holland America Line acquired 50 percent interest in Windstar Sail Cruises.

In 1988, Royal Caribbean Cruise Line and Admiral Cruises began the process of joining forces under one joint holding company.

By this fall (1988), Home Lines will withdraw from the cruise business, having sold one of its ships to Holland America Line, while the other is going to Premier Cruise Lines.

Also, in the first half of the year, there were rampant rumors about the financial difficulties of Norwegian Cruise Line, which now apparently have been solved, while presently American Cruise Line is seeking a capital infusion through partnership or sale of assets.

For several years, cruise line executives have predicted consolidations and mergers as the likely outcome of the intense market competition generated by what some say is a too-rapid-growth­-rate causing an oversupply of cruise berths.