New Gretna, NJ – July 1, 2010: In 1995, the exclusive relationship between Viking and Princess Yachts International of Plymouth, England was forged with the goal of building a new class of luxury performance cruising yachts for the American market. Since the beginning of the relationship, yachts sold as part of this unique strategic alliance in North America, Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean have been branded as Viking Sport Cruisers. This was done initially to reinforce that these yachts were backed by the same solid foundation of customer service and attention to detail for which the Viking Yacht Company had come to be known. Over the past fifteen years, Viking Sport Cruisers has worked tirelessly to meet and exceed the expectations of its customers, all the while searching for ways to improve the products that it delivers and supports.
At the same time, Princess Yachts International has poured an enormous amount of resources into evolving the product, developing a solid companywide infrastructure, and expanding capabilities to build a worldwide reputation firmly founded on quality, craftsmanship, and technological advancement. All of this has taken place under the watchful eye of David King, the founder of Princess. In 2008, Princess became part of the exquisite LVMH family of luxury brands, which includes over 60 of the world’s pinnacle companies best known for uncompromising quality. Some of these brands include Louis Vuitton, De Beers, Fendi, Moet Hennessy, and the Feadship Yacht brand acquired by LVMH in late 2008. Adding to this, the recent introduction of the M Class yachts with initial offerings in the 32 meter (105’) and 40 meter (130’) range moves Princess into a new market with world-renowned super yacht builders. All of these factors have and will continue to reinforce, on a global scale, the strength and appeal of Princess Yachts as a brand, a company, and a product.
Today, the relationship between Viking Sport Cruisers and Princess Yachts International and the spirit of cooperation and mutual respect that make it work remains as strong as ever. In looking to the future, both companies have recognized an inherent strength in building a singular global brand and have decided that, beginning with the 2011 model year, yachts built for Viking Sport Cruisers for distribution in North America, Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean will be branded as Princess. As part of this, Viking Sport Cruisers continues as the sole distributor for these markets and will provide the critical sales and service support for customers through its current extensive network of dealers while maintaining the same high level of spare parts inventory in its New Gretna, New Jersey facility. This approach to the support behind the product, which has been the key to the success of Viking Sport Cruisers, will remain an important part of bringing Princess Yachts to these markets sold, delivered, and serviced with “The Viking Difference.”
Says Tom Carroll, President and CEO of Viking Sport Cruisers, “Our focus since 1995 has remained firmly fixed on the reputation behind the name based on all that goes into delivering what we promise. While the evolution of our brand to Princess is a large task on many levels, it is one that we believe will bring tremendous benefits to our customers as we look toward the next 15 years in our company’s storied development.”
Chris Gates, Managing Director of Princess Yachts International adds, “The North American market is a hugely important one for Princess and we are delighted to have such a strong partner in Viking Sport Cruisers. Looking to the future, we both see tremendous benefits in building the global strength of the Princess name through a united marketing effort. With Princess now part of an international luxury brand portfolio with LVMH, we have seen first hand the benefits of a single worldwide focus and look forward to continuing to unlock that potential for our brand too. By adopting the Princess name within North America, Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean, we believe that we can capitalize on a strengthening global brand with the unparalleled customer service and support of Viking Sport Cruisers in these markets.”
Viking Sport Cruisers will offer the full line of Princess models, including V Class yachts from 42 to 85 feet, Flybridge yachts from 42 to 95 feet, and M Class 32 and 40 Meter yachts, through its network of established dealers across North America, Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean. In addition to strong dealer service support, Viking offers dedicated Viking owned and operated service centers located in New Gretna, New Jersey and Riviera Beach, Florida. Looking ahead to the fall and winter show seasons, Viking Sport Cruisers and Princess are working together in planning impressive displays for both the 2010 Ft. Lauderdale International Boat Show and the 2011 Miami Yacht & Brokerage Show with premieres of six models that have not been shown in the United States. New model debuts for Ft. Lauderdale include the Princess 42, V52, V62, and 85 Motor Yacht followed in Miami by the US unveiling of the stunning 72 Motor Yacht and another new model in development as yet unannounced.
Please contact us for further information on the branding change, as well as for details on product premieres and yachts planned for display at the fall and winter boat shows.