German FRS Group has acquired a majority interest in Clipper. FRS is a global ferry and shipping group, currently operating 60 vessels in 12 countries, and carrier of more than 7 million passengers and 1.9 million vehicles last year on national and international ferry lines.
Image: FRS Group
Clipper, operator of Clipper Vacations, is a recognized company in the Pacific Northwest and Western Canada, offering unique regional travel experiences, including high speed Victoria Clipper ferry services from Seattle to Victoria, and Seattle to San Juan Island, FRS said in a press release. With the acquisition, Clipper will expand its Canadian service with a new hub in Vancouver connecting downtown Vancouver to downtown Victoria. With Clipper’s support, FRS will launch a new ferry service from Florida to Cuba, pending government guidance and approval.
“This is an exciting day for Clipper, as we are thrilled to join forces with another industry leader,” said Merideth Tall, founder, CEO and Chair of Clipper. “FRS is a company that shares our values and our vision for travel and tourism in North America, and has long-term experience in markets around the world. Combining with FRS will allow us to expand our travel products and services to provide many more options for our customers that will now include Vancouver and Cuba.”
Tall will continue in her role as CEO of Clipper, and will expand the Clipper team to support this growth. She will also retain minority ownership of the company. More details regarding the new hubs in Vancouver, Florida and Cuba will be revealed in the coming weeks and months ahead. Terms of the acquisition are not being disclosed.
“Clipper and its leadership team plan to leverage FRS’ long history of managing multi-country operation models as we launch our future growth plan. The expansion of operations to Vancouver and Cuba will further benefit both of our Canadian and American destination cities,” said Tall.
Both FRS and Clipper are family-owned businesses. FRS has 150 years of experience in the operation of various ferry types and has grown from a regional passenger ferry operator to an internationally active group. FRS operates ferry routes in Europe, Northern Africa and the Middle East.