Norton Rose Fulbright advises lenders on ECA-backed financing of Royal Caribbean’s latest “Oasis Class” vessel “Utopia of the Seas”

Global Press release - Business June 2024

Global law firm Norton Rose Fulbright has advised the lenders, led by Citi, on the financing and subsequent delivery of Royal Caribbean’s latest flagship vessel, “Utopia of the Seas”.

The Norton Rose Fulbright team advised on all aspects of the transaction, including the original financing arrangements and, most recently, the delivery of the vessel. The vessel is the latest Royal Caribbean vessel financed under a French ECA-supported receivable purchase financing and post-delivery financing in a total aggregate amount of approximately $1.3 billion.

At 236,000 gross tons, “Utopia of the Seas” is the sixth “Oasis Class” cruise ship and is 1,188 feet in length and has a maximum passenger capacity of 7,500, in addition to 2,300 crew. It is also the first “Oasis Class” vessel to be powered by innovative LNG technology.

The Norton Rose Fulbright London team was led by Global Co-Head of Shipping Simon Hartley and Counsel Matthew Bambury, with support from Associate Rebecca Daniel, and Trainee Solicitor Lucrezia Cavuto. Partner Kirstin Russell and Senior Associate Jessica Sorah advised on related English law aspects. Global Co-Head of Transport Christine Ezcutari led the team advising on French law matters, supported by Senior Associate Ayaka Millet, Associate Emilie Jacques and Trainee Sarah Malegarie.  

Simon Hartley commented:

“We are delighted to continue to support our longstanding client, Citi, on this important and complex financing, involving multiple jurisdictions and incorporating innovating LNG technology that represents another step along the road to decarbonising the shipping industry. The cruise sector has had a robust start to the year and we are anticipating a strong pipeline of deal activity throughout the rest of 2024 and into 2025.”

Norton Rose Fulbright’s global shipping team also hold 10 Tier 1 rankings across legal directories Chambers and Legal 500. Simon and Christine are both ranked as Leading Individuals for shipping finance by Legal 500 and Band 1 practitioners by Chambers and Partners and Matthew Bambury is ranked as a rising star for shipping finance.