MSC Group named five new senior members to the management team of its yet-unnamed luxury cruise division, tapping several veterans of upscale cruise brands.

In 2019, MSC placed a $2 billion order for four 1,000-passenger, 64,000-ton ships, that will move MSC beyond the large-ship, contemporary segment when it launches in 2023.

Chris Austin
Chris Austin

Chris Austin, most recently a sales executive with Seabourn and for 20 years prior to that the head of sales for the luxury portfolio of Starwood Hotels & Resorts, will be the new brand's chief sales officer. John Stoll, the vice president of land programs for 17 years at Crystal and for five years at Silversea, will be the brand's destination experience advisor. Thatcher Brown, who will be commercial and strategic advisor, most recently served as president of Dream Cruises and managing director of Crystal Cruises Asia.

Rounding out the new appointees are Sacha Rougier, head of itinerary planning and shore experience, who formerly served as managing director of Cruise Gate Hamburg, and Sarah Doyle, the new chief marketing officer, who most recently was vice president of marketing at Bacardi Limited Europe.

"The leaders of the new brand bring more than 100 years of combined knowledge and expertise in the luxury, hospitality and cruise sectors," said Michael Ungerer, CEO of the new brand.

MSC said the brand will have a fleet of up to 10 vessels entering service by 2030 and that more details about the ships, and the official launch of the brand, are soon to come.

For now, Ungerer said the ships will be equipped with the latest and most advanced environmental and maritime technologies available and that all of their 461 suites will have balconies or terraces.

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