Australia’s insurance group National Roads and Motorists Association (NRMA) has taken what it calls a “significant” minority stake in Coral Expeditions.
The investment will help the small cruise line grow its operational footprint, according to both companies.
Coral Expeditions has resumed operations following a six-month halt due to the global COVID-19 pandemic.
Paul Chacko, Coral Expeditions Executive Director, said: “We began discussions with NRMA last year and were struck by the fit between both organisations.
“Both have long-term planning horizons, a guest- and member-focused culture, and significant customer demographic overlap.
“The current shareholders of Coral Expeditions have supported the transition to a new blue-water fleet over the past six years.
“This new partnership will allow Coral Expeditions to benefit from NRMA’s expertise while continuing its journey to tap strong long term demand for expedition cruising,” he said.
NRMA’s Chief Investment Officer, Rachel Wiseman, added: “Over the past four years, NRMA has been focused on finding more ways for Australians to experience the rich natural environment in which we live, and believes that expedition tourism is one of best ways to do it.
“Coral Expeditions is an Australian flagged expedition cruising business offering Australians an opportunity to safely discover their region through a small-group, premium experience.
“We are excited for the opportunity this provides for our members and Australians more broadly to enjoy the incredible experiences Coral offers.
“There has never been a time when Australian domestic tourism has been more important. This investment will help facilitate and grow the services and experiences Coral Expeditions offer, and we look forward to the time when it reopens for international visitors to enjoy,” she said.
Coral Expeditions’ management team and organisational structure will remain unchanged, with the company’s independent operations continuing from its base in Cairns, Australia.
There will be no impact on the company’s existing trade and other business arrangements, the company stressed.