(3:50 p.m. EST) — A private investment firm, VC2 Capital, has entered into an agreement to buy the Haimark Companies, which operate river and luxury small ship cruises in South America, Asia and, until recently, the Eastern United States and Canada.
The latter itineraries were run by Haimark Line, a Denver-based cruise line that came into the small ship cruise market in 2014 with one ship, Saint Laurent. The 210-passenger ship suffered damages when it collided with the Eisenhower Lock on the St. Lawrence Seaway in June 2015, forcing a slate of cruises to be canceled. The company later filed for bankruptcy.
That bankruptcy did not affect Haimark’s other operations, which include the following small luxury river ships: Amazon Discovery, Ganges Voyager, Irrawaddy Explorer, Mekong Navigator and Mekong Princess. The ships are chartered through Vantage and other cruise lines.
Speaking from Los Angeles, where VC2 Capital is based, Managing Partner Adam Levin said the small ship luxury market has a lot of promise. "We’ve been looking at a few different opportunities … for the past six months," he said.
Of particular interest with Haimark is Cuba. In July 2015, Haimark was awarded approval from the U.S. and Cuban government to offer sailings to Cuba from Miami, the first American cruise line to have sign-off from both countries. Those cruises, on Saint Laurent, were slated to start in February 2016.
Cuba is what initially attracted VC2 Capital to Haimark, Levin said; while a date isn’t set for when those cruises will take place, operations will resume in "the near future," he said. Operations for Haimark will continue to be run from the Denver office with the current management, he said.