MSC Announces Five Senior Appointments To New Luxury Brand

The new luxury brand of MSC Group’s Cruises Division today announced details of five senior members of its management team led by CEO Michael Ungerer. Mr. Ungerer said, “The leaders of the new brand bring more than 100 years of combined knowledge and expertise in the luxury, hospitality and cruise sectors. Together they will create a luxury and lifestyle travel experience as distinct as it is trailblazing, exceeding the expectations of both discerning cruisers seeking something different, those new to cruising and nextgenlux travelers curious to start.” The people and roles are: Chris Austin, Chief Sales Officer Austin was most recently SVP of global sales and marketing for four years at Seabourn Cruise Line where in 2019 he received the accolade of ‘Cruise Ambassador of the Year’ from the global luxury travel agency network, Virtuoso. He previously worked for almost 20 years leading sales for the luxury brand portfolio at Starwood Hotels & Resorts. Sarah Doyle, Chief Marketing Officer Most recently vice president of marketing at Bacardi Limited Europe, Doyle previously spent six years at Starwood Hotels & Resorts, initially...

The new luxury brand of MSC Group’s Cruises Division today announced details of five senior members of its management team led by CEO Michael Ungerer.

Mr. Ungerer said, “The leaders of the new brand bring more than 100 years of combined knowledge and expertise in the luxury, hospitality and cruise sectors. Together they will create a luxury and lifestyle travel experience as distinct as it is trailblazing, exceeding the expectations of both discerning cruisers seeking something different, those new to cruising and nextgenlux travelers curious to start.”

The people and roles are:

Chris Austin, Chief Sales Officer

Austin was most recently SVP of global sales and marketing for four years at Seabourn Cruise Line where in 2019 he received the accolade of ‘Cruise Ambassador of the Year’ from the global luxury travel agency network, Virtuoso. He previously worked for almost 20 years leading sales for the luxury brand portfolio at Starwood Hotels & Resorts.

Sarah Doyle, Chief Marketing Officer

Most recently vice president of marketing at Bacardi Limited Europe, Doyle previously spent six years at Starwood Hotels & Resorts, initially responsible for brand partnerships across the luxury brand portfolio, then as Global Brand Director for W Hotels Worldwide where she opened six global properties. Prior to her career in hospitality, Doyle for 10 years oversaw American Express’ Platinum and Centurion cardmember programs at Momentum Worldwide.

Thatcher Brown, Commercial and Strategic Advisor

Brown was most recently president of Dream Cruises and managing director of Crystal Cruises Asia at Genting for four years. After starting his career at Fairmont Hotels and Resorts where he spent six years, including in the role of executive director of brand marketing and business development, Thatcher worked at the Jumeirah Group luxury hotel chain for nearly five years, including as VP of brand strategy and marketing.

Sacha Rougier, Head of Itinerary Planning and Shore Experience

Rougier was managing director of Cruise Gate Hamburg for nearly six years and managed the completion of two new cruise terminals, overseeing a 73 percent increase in passenger numbers. Previously, she served as business development manager for five years with the Port of Marseille.

John Stoll – Destination Experience Advisor

Stoll worked as VP of land programs for 17 years at Crystal Cruises and was previously director of land programs at Silversea Cruises for more than five years where he created award-winning shore excursions.

Mr. Ungerer added, “As momentum builds towards the reveal of our vision, our top team will continue to grow, with further highly talented and experienced appointments in people, product and culinary roles.

“We’re getting ready to share our vision of luxury ocean travel with our trade partners when we will present our fleet, showcase our luxury vessels’ innovative designs and demonstrate what I believe will be a best-in-class guest experience for existing and future clients.

“With sustainability forming a crucial part of our DNA, we’ll also show that our new luxury ships are equipped with the latest and most advanced environmental and maritime technologies available.”

The first vessel for the luxury brand will be delivered in 2023 from the Fincantieri shipyard in Italy, with subsequent deliveries in 2024, 2025 and 2026.

The first luxury ship will have a gross tonnage of 63,900 GT and feature 461 of the largest suites at sea, all with ocean front balconies or terraces.

About the Cruises Division of MSC Group

The Cruises Division of MSC Group, the leading privately held Swiss-based shipping and logistics conglomerate with over 300 years of maritime heritage, is headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland, and has two distinct brands within its structure — the contemporary and luxury brands.

MSC Cruises, the contemporary brand, is the world’s third largest cruise brand as well as the leader in Europe, South America, the Gulf region and Southern Africa with more market share in addition to deployed capacity than any other player. It is also the fastest growing global cruise brand with a strong presence in the Caribbean, North America and the Far East markets.

Its fleet comprises 18 modern vessels combined with a sizeable future global investment portfolio of new vessels and is projected to grow to 23 cruise ships by 2025 with options for six vessel orders in place through 2030.

Meanwhile the soon to be launched luxury brand is set to start operating in 2023 with a fleet of up to ten vessels coming into service by 2030 with the latest and most advanced environmental and maritime technologies available. The first of which will have a gross tonnage of approximately 64,000 GT and feature up to 500 staterooms. These super yachts will introduce to the luxury segment a broad range of new guest experiences and activities as well as generous ratios of public spaces, in addition to showcasing highly innovative design.

(MSC Cruises)