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Tony Briggs steps down following major shareholding sale of Coral Princess Cruises

Tony Briggs steps down following major shareholding sale of Coral Princess Cruises
Speaking to Seatrade Insider today, Coral Princess Cruises’ founder Tony Briggs said the company’s new majority shareholder, Kallang Capital Holdings of Singapore, was taking over a going concern.

‘We had a record year last year and we have record forward bookings,’ Capt. Briggs said.

He said he is ‘delighted’ with the Kallang Capital Holdings’ deal as it shares his vision for the growth of the company.

Although he remains a  shareholder and board member, Briggs and his wife, Vicki, will no longer be involved in the running of the Cairns-based small ship company he founded in 1984.

He originally operated overnight voyages from Townsville in a converted World War 11 Fairmile class submarine chaser that carried 24 passengers.

In 1988 he commissioned the 50-passenger Coral Princess for Great Barrier Reef and ‘Across the Top of Australia’ itineraries and in 1996 his second 35mtr ship, Coral Princess 11, entered service.

In January 2005 the 1,200gt Oceanic Princess was launched at the NQEA shipyard in Cairns. In September the following year Briggs renamed the 76-passenger mono-hull Oceanic Discoverer.

He expanded his operation to New Zealand and the South Pacific with this SOLAS registered ship.

Paul Chacko, md of Kallang Capital Holdings, said gm Mark Fifield will remain in charge of operations as the company builds on Coral Princess Cruises’ 30 years of pioneering expedition cruising experience.

Chacko said Kallang will invest in upgrading the three ships, commencing with a refurbishment of Coral Princess 11 which will be completed by February 2015.

‘Guests can expect the same high standards and memorable cruises for which Coral Princess is renowned,’ he said.