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.”

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.

Notable investments made by the principals of KSL include:
· ClubCorp, Inc., headquartered in Dallas
· Western Athletic Clubs, Inc., headquartered in San Francisco
· Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge and Keystone Mountain Resorts in Colorado
· La Quinta Resort & Club and PGA West in La Quinta
· Doral Golf Resort & Spa near Miami
· Grand Wailea Resort Hotel & Spa on Maui in Wailea, Hawaii
· Arizona Biltmore Resort & Spa in Phoenix, Ariz.
· La Costa Resort and Spa in Carlsbad, Calif.
· Hotel del Coronado near San Diego
· Rancho Las Palmas Resort & Spa in Rancho Mirage, Calif.

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