MSC Names Five to Senior Management Team for its New Luxury Brand

The new luxury brand of MSC Group’s Cruises Division on Wednesday announced the appointment of five senior members to its management team, which is led by CEO Michael Ungerer as our sister publication Travel Agent has reported.

The first vessel for the yet-to-be-named 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 will have 461 “of the largest suites at sea,” all with balconies or terraces.

The project was initially announced in October 2018 as an expansion of its MSC Yacht Club luxury ship-within-a-ship concept turned into an entirely new class of vessel. Guests can expect environmentally friendly features, as well as 24/7 butler service.

As for the sales appointments, Chris Austin, most recently SVP of global sales and marketing for four years at Seabourn Cruise Line, will serve as the brand’s chief sales officer. He previously worked for almost 20 years leading sales for the luxury brand portfolio at Starwood Hotels & Resorts.  

Sarah Doyle has been named 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.

The brand’s commercial and strategic advisor will be Thatcher Brown. He 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, Brown worked at the Jumeirah Group chain for nearly five years, including as VP of brand strategy and marketing.

Sacha Rougier, the former managing director of Cruise Gate Hamburg for nearly six years, will serve as head of itinerary planning and shore experience. With Cruise Gate Hamburg, she managed the completion of two new cruise terminals, overseeing a 73 percent increase in passenger numbers. Previously, Rougier served as business development manager for five years with the Port of Marseille.

Lastly, John Stoll has been named 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.  

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