Royal Caribbean Incorporated in Liberia - Is that safer than United Arab Emirates?
47 persons have gone overboard on cruise ships since the year 2000. [http://www.cruisejunkie.com/Overboard.html]
Most of these incidents have been charactarized by faulty, incompetent investigations or cover ups by the cruise lines. The cruise companies have made little or no effort to prosecute or prevent crimes that occur on cruise ships. See http://projectsafecruise.blogspot.com/ for a possible solution.
The folowing statements appear in the Form 10-K filed by RCCL with the Security and Exchange Commission on February 24, 2006:
We are not a United States corporation and our shareholders may be subject to the uncertainties of a foreign legal system in protecting their interests.
Our corporate affairs are governed by our Restated Articles of Incorporation and By-Laws and by the Business Corporation Act of Liberia. The provisions of the Business Corporation Act of Liberia resemble provisions of the corporation laws of a number of states in the United States. However, while most states have a fairly well developed body of case law interpreting their respective corporate statutes, there are very few judicial cases in Liberia interpreting the Business Corporation Act of Liberia. For example, the rights and fiduciary responsibilities of directors under Liberian law are not as clearly established as the rights and fiduciary responsibilities of directors under statutes or judicial precedent in existence in certain United States jurisdictions. Thus, our public shareholders may have more difficulty in protecting their interests with respect to actions by management, directors or controlling shareholders than would shareholders of a corporation incorporated in a United States jurisdiction.
We are controlled by principal shareholders that have the power to determine our policies, management and actions requiring shareholder approval.
As of February 10, 2006, A. Wilhelmsen AS., a Norwegian corporation indirectly owned by members of the Wilhelmsen family of Norway, owned approximately 20.4% of our common stock and Cruise Associates, a Bahamian general partnership indirectly owned by various trusts primarily for the benefit of certain members of the Pritzker family and various trusts primarily for the benefit of certain members of the Ofer family, owned approximately 15.8% of our common stock.