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Royal Caribbean Cruises sells 50 pct in jv to TUI Travel

OSLO, Oct 7 (Reuters) - Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd RCL.NRCL.OL said it has agreed to sell its 50 percent stake in Island Cruises to a unit of British-based tour operator TUI Travel Plc TT.L, which owns the other half.

The value of the deal or the gain to RCL was not disclosed.

As part of the transaction, RCL and TUI agreed to an early termination of the charter of Island Star, one of two ships in the Island Cruises fleet. RCL is the owner of Island Star and had chartered it to Island Cruises.

“RCL will also recognize a small gain on the sale of its interest in Island Cruises and the early termination of the Island Star charter,” RCL said in a statement late on Monday.

The deal is subject to regulatory approval in Ireland.

“Island Cruises has been a rewarding investment for us, but over the past year our priorities have shifted,” RCL Chief Executive Richard Fain said in a statement.

“We believe by focusing on developing and expanding the Royal Caribbean International and Celebrity Cruises brands in the U.K. we will be better able to serve our customers and create value for our shareholders,” Fain added.

Upon its return in April 2009, RCL plans to redeploy the Island Star to Pullmantur Cruises, its Spanish brand. (Reporting by Wojciech Moskwa; Editing by Kim Coghill)

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