I'm a little surprised, I had hoped reducing the number from 4 ships to 2 ships would suffice to bring fares up. But I had a feeling something was up when NCLA pulled the two ships off the market a month ago.
If you checked out the Apollo Management buy-in deal closely, either Star or NCL could cry "uncle" first over NCLA. NCLA wasn't apart of the initial deal, and NCL was going to owe Star Cruises more cash on December 31 to account for NCLA.
Close to $500 million if they kept both ships and kept NCLA in business as is, or only $124 million if they surrendered the Aloha to Star, and broke up NCLA wholly or partially.
Here's a link with all the juicy details:
A bit of extra info on both ships:
The value of the Pride of Aloha (as of 1 April 2007) was $340 million, free of encumbrances.
The value of the Pride of America (as of 1 April 2007) was $460 million, with $251 million indebtedness.
The Pride of Aloha didn't have enough restaurants to fully support Freestyle Cruising, which is probably why it is the one heading for Star Cruises. It will also be easier to reinstall, if not enlarge the casino space that was initially on the Aloha. Having a large casino is important in the Asian cruise market.
Star Cruises ends up with as new a ship as it presently owns, Superstar Virgo, without any debt. Where Star Cruises plans to sail the "Aloha" hasn't been released. Hopefully that bit of info will be released soon.