Speakers at Seatrade Europe Conference 2017

Kyriakos Anastassiadis

Kyriakos Anastassiadis

Chairman, CLIA Europe

Chief Executive Officer, Celestyal Cruises

Kyriakos (Kerry) Anastassiadis is the CEO of Celestyal Cruises and the current Chairman of CLIA (Cruise Lines International Association) Europe.

Prior to taking the helm at Celestyal Cruises, Kerry distinguished himself as General Manager, CEO and President at renowned corporations such as The Coca-Cola Company, Procter & Gamble, Polaroid and Aujan Industries.

Mr. Anastassiadis's mother tongues are Greek and English, and he is also fluent in French, Italian and Portuguese. Born in the Democratic Republic of Congo and raised in Southern Africa, Kerry studied Commerce at the University of Witwatersrand and obtained his postgraduate title in Market Research and Advertising.

Federico Bartoli

Itinerary Planning Director, Revenue Management & Transportation

Costa Crociere SpA

Nick Borbone

Head of European Business Development

Trimline Ltd

Paul Britton

Paul Britton

Marine Operations Manager

Disney Cruise Line

Paul is Marine Operations Manager at Disney Cruise Line, based in London. In this role he is responsible for global itinerary planning and European ports of call.  

He is a member of the CLIA Europe Ports and Destination Committee.

Daniel Buchmüller

Chief Operating Officer


Daniel is Chief Services Officer at River Advice, the leading independent management company of river cruise passenger ships based in Basel, Switzerland. His career in the river cruise industry started 1994.
He is President of IG RiverCruise, the European River Cruise Association.

Daniel started his career in 1994 with a Dutch river cruise company. 2000 he joined Viking River Cruises as VP Sales & Marketing. He left the shipping business for a couple of years and worked in a senior management position for the Culture & Convention Center in Lucerne before he joined River Advice in 2001.
Daniel Buchmüller holds an MBA in Tourism & Leisure Management and a Marketing degree from the Universities of Salzburg/Austria and St. Gallen/Switzerland.

Alessandro Carollo

Alessandro Carollo

Head of Port Operations EMEA

Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd

Alessandro Carollo is Head of Port Operations - Europe, Middle East, Africa and India for Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd.

His career in the maritime industry started in 2000 as port agent for several Italian and international agency service providers, (Medov and Inchcape Shipping Services among others).

Responsible to deliver operational excellence, relationship management with authorities at both local and national level, selection and management of vendors and port agencies, development of new ports of call, as well as management of port costs budget for the three U.S. brands of RCCL; Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises and Azamara Club Cruises.
Holds a PFSO certification and since 2014 he is a member of CLIA Europe’s Ports and Destinations sub-committee.

Andreas Chrysostomou

Andreas Chrysostomou

VP Public and Government Affairs

CLIA Europe

Mr. Chrysostomou is responsible for managing the department of European Affairs covering these areas, including liaising with European institutions and other bodies or agencies.

He is a seasoned professional in the shipping industry. 

Mr. Chrysostomou holds an MBA (Masters in business administration) and he graduated from the University of Newcastle upon Tyne, UK, with a Bachelor of Engineering in naval architecture and shipbuilding.  Before joining CLIA, Chrysostomou was Director of the Department of Merchant Shipping, the competent Authority for Maritime Affairs of the Government of the Republic Cyprus, and General Manager of Transmed Shipping Co., Ltd.

He held senior management roles in fields such as safety and security, protection of the marine environment and administration. He also served as the elected Chairman of the Design and Equipment Subcommittee of the IMO and of the Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC), one of the main Committees at IMO.

He was twice elected Chairman of the International Mobile Satellite Organization (a UN agency) and served as member of the Board of Governors of the World Maritime University (WMU). He also served as President of the Institute of Marine Engineering, Science & Technology (IMAREST).

Mr. Chrysostomou received the 2011 Award for ‘Outstanding Contribution to Sustainable Shipping’ and the ‘Distinguished Public Service Award’ by the United States Department of Homeland Security, United States Coast Guard. He received the ‘Green Shipping Technology Award - Leading Shipping Personality of the Decade 2003 – 2013’ and in 2015, he was honoured with the ‘Lloyd’s List Greek Shipping Award - International Personality of the Year’.

Lars Clasen

Lars Clasen

Managing Director

The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection

Lars Clasen is a business economist with an international background in cruise, shipping and finance.

As Managing Director he led in the founding of the AIDA Cruises brand in 1994.


In 2000, he initiated and implemented a merger of AIDA and P&O Princess and became President of AIDA Cruises. He successfully strengthened AIDA’s position as the market leader in Germany and assisted with the sale/merger to Carnival Corporation.

In 2004, he co-acquired the A-ROSA brand and river fleet. As CEO he led the company to become the leading German river cruise operator.

In 2013, he started development work on The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection. As Managing Director he is responsible for operations, finance and shares responsibility for strategic development.   

Fred Danska

Fred Danska

Director Cruise Business, , Marine Solutions

Wärtsilä Corporation

Fred has an MSc in Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering from Helsinki University of Technology. He started his professional career at the Wärtsilä Helsinki Shipyard in 1978.


During his 39 years with Wärtsilä he has held different positions in mostly sales oriented disciplines but also in corporate development and quality development. Ten of these 39 years has been in the USA and the last 17 years he has been Director for the Cruise Business. 

Fred is now based at Wärtsilä Headquarters in Helsinki. Fred has been active in promoting environmental solutions in the cruise world for many years as well as emphasizing the Total Lifecycle Cost approach in evaluating investments.

Bud Darr

Bud Darr

EVP Maritime Policy and Government Affairs

MSC Group

An experienced global maritime leader in the areas of policy, government, and related law, Bud Darr is Executive Vice President, Maritime Policy and Government Affairs of MSC Group.

He has conducted work in more than fifty countries throughout his career and consistently served in leadership roles for more than three decades.

Having served in the US Navy, US Merchant Marine, and US Coast Guard, as well as being an accomplished ocean yacht racer, Bud’s longstanding connection with the sea and ships that sail upon it is both personal and professional.

Bud began his education with the US Navy in Submarine Nuclear Engineering and later furthered his formal education at the US Merchant Marine Academy, where he was trained as a Deck Officer and received his undergraduate degree. Later, during his service with the US Coast Guard, he studied law at the George Washington University Law School.

In 2010, he retired from his government career to join the Cruise Lines International Association, where as its Global Senior Vice President of Technical and Regulatory Affairs, he led the cruise industry’s efforts in a broad range of maritime subject areas, including countless international treaty negotiations, sector-wide policy development, and engagement with government bodies around the world.

Today, Bud is engaged across MSC’s divisions in applying his skills toward establishing and developing a central Government Affairs function, based at the Group’s headquarters in Geneva.

David Dingle

David Dingle


Carnival UK

David is Chairman of Maritime UK, a Director and Past President of the UK Chamber of Shipping, and a Board member of the European Community Shipowners Association (ECSA). 

David Dingle was appointed Chairman of Carnival UK in October 2014, having previously held the position of CEO from June 2007 with full operating responsibility for the UK-based brands P&O Cruises and Cunard. 

He entered the shipping industry in 1978 when he joined P&O’s Passenger Division.

He is also Past Chairman of the European Cruise Council (now CLIA Europe), sits on the CLIA Europe Executive Committee as Vice Chairman and chairs its Tax Committee. David is a Younger Brother of Trinity House and holds an Honorary Doctorate in Business from Plymouth University.

David lives in Kent with his wife and two children.

Felix Eichhorn

Felix Eichhorn


AIDA Cruises

Felix Eichhorn (37) studied Business Management at the Economic Academy Hamburg. The native of Rostock has accompanied the unique growth of AIDA Cruises in various management positions of increasing responsibility for more than 17 years.

Since September 1, 2015, Felix Eichhorn is heading the cruise company AIDA Cruises as President.

Felix Eichhorn started his career at AIDA Cruises in 1999 with a dual studies program. In the following years, he held a wide variety of positions on board and ashore before assuming responsibility for sales and yield management of AIDA Cruises and Costa in Germany as Senior Vice President Sales, Yield Management & Flight Operation in 2013.

In May 2014, Felix Eichhorn was appointed chairman of the committee Ship of the German Travel Organization (DRV).

Frederik Erdmann

Frederik Erdmann

German Correspondent

Seatrade Cruise Review and Seatrade Cruise News

Frederik Erdmann is Seatrade's German cruise correspondent since 2002.

As a maritime trade press correspondent and visiting lecturer of the Flensburg University of Applied Sciences, Frederik Erdmann concentrates on ferry and cruise ship management, port development as well as safety and security in passenger shipping.

He is also a member of the Flensburg Chamber of Commerce's Tourism Committee.

Following secondary school graduation he joined the port agency network, Sartori & Berger, on a vocational training program.

After subsequent studies of Business Administration, Frederik Erdmann held various positions at Sartori & Berger until 2010.

After a period of working with the Flensburg Chamber of Commerce, he was appointed Designated Person Safety/Security, Environment and Quality of the coastal ferry operator, Wyker Dampfschiffs-Reederei.

Liz Gammon

Liz Gammon



Liz Gammon is a creative cruise marketing expert based in Iceland where she assists her clients make an impact on the world by creating innovative and effective marketing strategies that promote the long-term growth for their businesses and get them noticed.
Her specialities include engaging content creation, social media management and digital storytelling.

Liz’s past lives include a stint on the beauty counters of South Wales as a sales consultant, a decade spent travelling the world as a solo piano bar entertainer, time spent as popular licensed tour guide and eight years as manager of a busy shore excursions department.

Her passion for the cruise industry and innovative marketing strategies has earned her global recognition along with several international awards for marketing achievements and innovative product development. 

Monic van der Heyden

Commercial Manager

Cruise, Port of Amsterdam

Timo Hogestraat

Director Design and Strategy

Partner Ship Design

Andra Howie


Shore Excursions Operations & Product Development, Holland America Group

Jean-Pierre Joubert

Jean-Pierre Joubert

Shore Excursions Director

MSC Cruises

Jean-Pierre Joubert is the Director of Shore Excursions and leads the strategy, marketing, operations, finance and destination delivery for MSC Cruises.

Jean-Pierre has been in the cruise industry since 2003 with Norwegian Cruise Lines as a Revenue and Marketing Director and Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines as Director of Global Tour Operations before joining MSC in early 2017.

Britta Konkel

Britta Konkel

Seasoned cruise traveller

Britta Konkel is a Manager for buying and sourcing and leading a team which is responsible for shoes and accessories for Bonprix, a leading international Fashion Company, which is one of the biggest members of the Otto Group.

Britta started her career in 1999 in the same field, and was in charge of carpets and home decoration items.

She graduated from University in Geography and Mathematics. 

Her passion is travelling (cruising, but also travelling individually) and she is interested in good food and sports (hiking and horse riding).

Guido Laukamp

Chief Executive Officer

nicko Cruises Flussreisen GmbH

Stuart Leven

Stuart Leven

VP, EMEA and Managing Director

RCL Cruises Ltd

As Vice President, Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA), Stuart provides leadership to Royal Caribbean International’s EMEA business, overseeing Royal Caribbean International UK & Ireland, and all three brands (Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises and Azamara Club Cruises), across Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

A proven, dynamic leader with experience across the airline, hotel and dot.com sectors, Leven joined Royal Caribbean in 2013 with a clear vision to build a distinct brand and attract a new audience to cruise through strategic relationships with the trade and disruptive communication to consumers.

The new role of Vice President, Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) was created in December 2016, amidst growing interest in cruising across Europe and a clear opportunity for increased deployment in the region.

The UK and Ireland market saw unprecedented growth under Leven’s tenure and his experience and expertise are key to ensure RCL Cruises Ltd. realizes its potential in Europe.

Leven has an impressive 20-year track record of delivering sustainable profit growth through strategic alignment and new product development in the European leisure and hospitality industry. He previously held senior commercial roles with businesses such as Intercontinental Hotels Group and KLM Royal Dutch Airlines.

Rita Berstad Maraak

Rita Berstad Maraak

Port Director

Geirangerfjord Cruise Port

Rita Berstad Maraak is Port director for Geirangerfjord cruise port (Stranda Port Authority).

She has principal responsibility for ensuring a sustainable fjord system (finance, environment and security) that promotes business and commerce in the area and for the inhabitants.

Rita's background centres around economy and marketing. She has working experience as a Director of Sales and Marketing in the hotel business and as a shipping agent. She has worked as an excursion leader and been involved in producing excursions and activities. She has worked as Managing Director of numerous local companies and has an active role within local politics. She took on the position of Port director in Stranda municipality in 2007.

She is a member of the board for Cruise Norway and KS Bedrift havn, and is committed to the ongoing discussions around the environment and sustainability. She is one of the persons behind SUSTRANS – a research project aiming to develop an integrated sustainability appraisal methodology for transportation in rural tourism pressure areas.

Capt Michael McCarthy

Capt Michael McCarthy

Chairman, Cruise Europe

Commercial Manager, Port of Cork Company

Captain Michael McCarthy is the Commercial Manager for the Port of Cork Company Ireland, the current Chairman of Cruise Europe and past president of the Irish Institute of Master Mariners.

He is a Class 1 Master Mariner and a University College Cork postgraduate in Management and Marketing.

He has built up an extensive knowledge of the port and shipping sector over the last 46 years including many EU Funded Cruise and Motorway’s of the Seas Projects.

Michael has served in many shipping roles from Deputy Harbour Master / Port Security / Operations and Terminal Manager; he was a Director / Marine Surveyor with Sea Service, Marine Cargo Insurance Surveyors and served 14 years at sea with Irish Shipping from Cadet to Master.

Wybcke Meier

Wybcke Meier

Chief Executive Officer

TUI Cruises GmbH

Wybcke Meier was appointed new CEO of TUI Cruises on October 1, 2014.

The qualified travel agent started her career at Fischer Reisen, where she held various positions with managerial responsibility for marketing and sales.

After Fischer Reisen was sold to Condor Flugdienst GmbH, she was at the helm of the integration process of the tour operator into C&N Touristic AG.

In 2000, Wybcke Meier became head of sales at “Via 1 – Schöner Reisen” online travel shopping channel in Hamburg. From 2002 to 2010, she headed sales and marketing as an authorized signatory and member of the management board at tour operator Öger Tours.

Most recently, Wybcke Meier was managing director at Windrose Finest Travel and OFT.

Carmen Morosan

Carmen Morosan

Global Shore Excursion Manager

Intercruises Shoreside & Port Services

Carmen worked on-board in various media and revenue management roles for various cruise lines for almost 10 years, based out of Miami, before brief stints with Canon in the UK and Azkoyen in Spain. 

In 2013, Carmen joined Intercruises as Shorex Manager Asia, where she led shorex operations and product development across thirteen countries. 

In 2015 Carmen was promoted to Global Shore Excursions Manager, in charge of global product development and operation delivery, with a focus on innovation and adoption of new technology, including Augmented & Virtual Reality equipment, geo-localization systems and eLearning tools.

Carmen is originally from Romania and is a keen photographer, capturing images of all her travel destinations. 

Sveinung Oftedal

Specialist Director, Department for Marine Management and Pollution Control

Norwegian Ministry of Climate & Environment



Gianni Onorato

Gianni Onorato

Chief Executive Officer

MSC Cruises

As CEO, Gianni Onorato oversees MSC Cruises’ business from its Geneva-based headquarters and reports to the Company’s Board of Directors and to its Executive Chairman.

With over 30 years’ experience in the cruise industry, Mr Onorato has a finely developed understanding of the cruise business and extensive experience in senior executive leadership, having served as President of Costa Cruises from 2004 to 2013.

Born in Italy, Mr Onorato graduated from Naples’ Istituto Orientale with a degree in Foreign Languages and Literature in 1983, and then specialized at SDA Bocconi School of Management in Milan and INSEAD in Fontainebleau.

Mr Onorato began his career in 1986 at Costa Cruises as Food and Beverage Manager before becoming Cruise Product Director. From 1997 he served as Vice President & Cruise Operations Director and was responsible for logistics and provisioning, as well as all activities relating to calls, excursions and hotel operations.

Neil Palomba

Neil Palomba


Costa Crociere

Effective February 1st, 2015, Neil Palomba has been appointed President of Costa Cruises.

In this position, Neil has been guiding the organization to secure a profitable future through the delivery of innovative and customer oriented solutions with passion, style and quality. 

Palomba, Italian, 36 years old,  joined Costa Cruises as Senior Vice President Hotel Operations & Guest Experience at the beginning of January 2014.

Under Neil’s guidance, Costa achieved many improvements for Guests experience onboard. He substantially contributed to the success of the new flagship Costa Diadema which entered into service at the end of October 2014. Moreover he played a key role in developing the new Costa positioning “Italy’s finest”.

Over the past months, Neil and his team’s contribution included a strong boost to Costa’s positioning, through the announcement of the order to build two next-generation cruise ships powered by Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG). 

Before Costa, Neil gained tremendous experience in the cruise industry. He was project manager with MSC Cruises new builds department in 2001, in charge of coordinating all the departments involved in the new shipbuilding projects.

In 2006 Neil was appointed Chief Operating Officer of MSC Sales and Marketing office based in Fort Lauderdale, overseeing USA, Canada, Caribbean and Mexico. In 2010 he was appointed Corporate Operating Officer based in Geneva.  From 2010 to 2013 he was also Chairman of the Ports and Infrastructure Sub-Committee of European Cruise Council, representing the main European cruise lines (now CLIA Europe).

Since May 2017 he is Member of the Executive Committee CLIA Europe.

Kevin Paintin

Experience Design and Brand Consultant

20.20 Limited

Thanos Pallis

Thanos Pallis

Secretary General


Dr. Thanos Pallis, is the Secretary General of MedCruise, the association of cruise ports in the Med and its adjoining seas. A Jean Monnet Professor in European Port Policy at the University of the Aegean, Greece, he is a regular contributor at OECD, UNCTAD, European Commission, IAPH, AIVP, and ESPO discussions on ports.

He served as General Secretary for Ports & Port Policy, Ministry of Development, Competitiveness and Shipping, Greece. He is the co-director of the PortEconomics.eu web initiative, and his publication record includes the books Common EU Maritime Transport Policy and European Port Policy.

Arnt Møller Pedersen

Arnt Møller Pedersen

Chief Operating Officer, Cruise & Ferries

Copenhagen Malmö Port

Chief Operation Officer Arnt Møller Pedersen (61 years) from Copenhagen Malmö Port has over the last 44 years built up an extensive knowledge of the port, cruise and the shipping and transport sector.

He is also sitting in several boards and often shares his experience as a speaker in different forums.

He started his carrier in 1972 in The East Asiatic Company as Broker and has served in many roles in various companies, such as Chief Broker in Hamlet Shipping, Transport and Administration Manager in The Danish Steelworks, Commercial Manager in the Danish State Railways, Sales and Marketing Director in Port of Copenhagen.

Olga Piqueras

Olga Piqueras

Managing Director

Intercruises Shoreside & Port Services

Olga has over 25 years of experience in aviation and port operations, joining British Airways in 1987 as an Operations Agent.

During her thirteen year career with British Airways, Olga held the roles Duty Manager and Customer Service Manager at Barcelona airport, becoming responsible for all operations and direct revenue.

In 2000 Olga joined Eurohandling UTE BCN, a start-up ground handling company, coaching and leading a team of 150 staff during a year-long project. In 2003 Olga joined Intercruises Shoreside & Port Services as Operations Director, responsible for international operations worldwide, encompassing over 60 countries and 300 ports.

In 2016 Olga became Intercruises Managing Director and now leads the business. Olga has a Certificate in Management from Oxford Brooks University, an International MBA from La Salle, Manhattan College and has completed numerous business and operations training courses.

Maria Pittordis

Maria Pittordis


Head of Marine, Trade & Energy,
Hill Dickinson

Maria is global head of the Marine Trade and Energy Division of Hill Dickinson LLP with particular expertise in the Cruise and port industries dealing.

 Maria is a specialist in assisting in respect of incidents and accidents, minor or major, civil or criminal on land or at sea and has been involved in a number of high profile cases.

She is a Health and Safety and Emergency response specialist offering proactive advice and training to clients on their responsibilities. Services include Data Protection, EU legislation, cyber security, crime at sea, shore excursions and other tour operator/ leisure activities including commercial agreements, charters and tickets.

Maria chairs the Tourism and Consumer Affairs sub Committee for CLIA, and is on the ABTA advisory and UK Chamber of Shipping committees including Cruise and Ferry. Specialisms include crew CBA’s, MLC issues and litigation/ arbitration.

Hill Dickinson was highly commended by Lloyds List ilaw for its work in the cruise industry in 2016 and Maria has received awards for personal injury lawyer of the year for services to the marine industry.

Karl J. Pojer

Karl J. Pojer

Chief Executive Officer

Hapag-Lloyd Cruises

In April 2016, Karl J. Pojer was selected Chairman of the Leadership of CLIA Germany. With his long-time expertise in the hotel and tourism industry, Pojer represents the growing cruise industry in this role.

Born in Austria on 20 December 1954, Karl J. Pojer, who speaks four languages, followed his school education with several years of professional hospitality studies in Austria. He then undertook international training in the USA. His first professional positions took him to New York, the InterContinental Hotel in Vienna and the Grand Metropolitan Hotels in Paris.

From 1980 to 1995, the hotel expert held high-level positions - such as manager, general director and regional director - in the USA, Germany, Belgium and Portugal, at leading hotel groups such as Kempinski Hotels, Sheraton Hotels and Pestana Hotels, Resorts & Casinos. A post as Austrian consul enabled Pojer to gain diplomatic experience.

In January 1996 Pojer joined TUI and served as the Managing Director (speaker) of Robinson Club GmbH, a 100% subsidiary of TUI AG, until May 2003.

From June 2003 to December 2005, Pojer was the Director of TUI Hotels & Resorts, and the Divisional Director from January 2006 to May 2013. The World of TUI currently encompasses more than 300 hotels with 210,000 beds, making TUI Hotels & Resorts Europe’s largest holiday hotelier. Its portfolio of hotel companies includes brands such as Riu, Robinson, Grecotel, Grupotel and lberotel.

In May 2013 Pojer became CEO of Hapag-Lloyd Cruises, a 100% subsidiary of TUI AG, assuming the management of the luxury cruise ship company whose portfolio includes the EUROPA 2 and the EUROPA, the only two ships in the world to have been awarded the prestigious 5-stars-plus ranking by the Berlitz Complete Guide to Cruising and Cruise Ships 2016. Its two additional expedition ships are the HANSEATIC and BREMEN, which have also received many awards for their diverse routes and expedition expertise.

In 2015, Pojer was voted German Travel Industry Manager and was named the Hamburg Cruise Personality in the same year.

Tim Reardon

Tim Reardon

Policy Director - Taxation, Ferry & Cruise

UK Chamber of Shipping

Tim is responsible for managing tonnage tax and other shipping-specific taxes, and for co-ordinating all issues relating to the ferry and cruise sector. 

Having been with the UK Chamber for over twenty years, Tim is experienced in facilitating the movement of passengers and goods through UK ports, monitoring port procedures and statutory charges on ships.

Sacha Rougier

Sacha Rougier

Managing Director

Hamburg Cruise Gate

Since February 2015 Sacha Rougier is Managing Director of Cruise Gate Hamburg GmbH (CGH), a subsidiary of the Hamburg Port Authority. As operator of the three cruise terminals (Altona, HafenCity and Steinwerder) CGH oversees terminal operation, berthing allocation, cruise development and terminal planning.

Previous to her employment at CGH, Sacha Rougier worked for the Port of Marseille, where she held various positions in marketing and cruise development. S. Rougier holds a Master Degree in Change Management and a Bachelor degree in European Studies (economics, German and Spanish).

Sacha Rougier is playing an active role in Hamburg´s cruise development as member of the Board of trustees of the Cruise Cluster “Hamburg Cruise Net” and of the Board of Directors of Hamburg Cruise Center. She furthermore is co-lecturer on Port Economics & Business at the University for Maritime & Air Transport Antwerp (C-MAT).

Lucas Sandmeier

General Manager Operations & Administration

Scenic Tours Europe AG

Claus Ulrich Selbach

Claus Ulrich Selbach

Business Unit Director

Hamburg Messe und Congress GmbH

In 2014 he joined Hamburg Messe as Business Unit Director for the maritime and technology fairs, including SMM, the leading international maritime trade fair and WindEnergy Hamburg, the global on and offshore expo.

His first career step was project manager for Koelnmesse, organizing fairs in India and Brazil. 

After that he joined kogag, Germany’s leading event marketing agency back then, to later become head of Berlin office.

He volunteered as English teacher in Tamil Nadu, India, before joining EF Education First, the world’s leading company for education, working as Sales Director for Europe and Latin America.

Claus Ulrich Selbach was born in a wine maker family at the Mosel River, Germany. After graduating high school in Germany and in the US, he studied social science and history in Paris and Bonn.

Linkedin profile

Harry Sommer

Harry Sommer

EVP International Business Development

Norwegian Cruise Line

Harry Sommer is the Executive Vice President, International Business Development for Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings, responsible for sales, marketing, public relations and office operations for the three brands of NCLH for all markets outside the United States and Canada



Sommer joined NCLH in 2009, serving in a number of executive positions including Chief Integration Offer, Chief Marketing Officer, SVP Finance, Chief Information Officer, Chief Accounting Officer, and VP Revenue Management and Relationship Marketing.

Prior to that, in 2002, Sommer co-founded Luxury Cruise Center, a high-end travel agency specializing in premium and luxury cruise product. Prior to that, Sommer worked 8 years at Renaissance Cruises in various roles.

Sommer holds an MBA from Pace University and a BBA from Baruch College.

Tom Strang

Tom Strang

SVP Maritime Affairs

Carnival Corporation & Plc

Tom Strang is Senior Vice President Maritime Affairs for Carnival Corporation and plc, responsible for developing a group wide strategy for the supply of LNG for the next generation of cruise ships under order.

He also provides representation for the Carnival group at various maritime authorities in Europe and other regions relating to marine and technical regulatory activities.

Tom has a degree in ship science from Southampton University and is a Fellow of the Royal Institution of Naval Architects.  Tom is married with three children and his interests include sailing, motorcycling and travel.

Daniel Thiriet

Co-Managing Director, AmaWaterways

Managing Director, SEA CHEFS Group
and Vice President, IG RiverCruise

Daniel Thiriet is born in Basel, Switzerland and has worked since the beginning of his business life in the tourism and the cruising industry. His knowledge about river cruising comes from his long-term function as managing director of SCYLLA. Now he is co-managing director of AmaWaterways GmbH in Basel, managing the AMA-Fleet of 17 luxury river cruising vessels.

He also represent SEA CHEFS, the internationally operating cruise ship restaurant and hotelmanager, as Managing Director for both parts of their Swiss based activities, the central Holding as well as the operative arms in Zug and Basel.

Thiriet is also Vice-President of IG RiverCruise. He lives and works in Basel, Switzerland, and his office has a beautiful view on the River Rhine!

Richard J. Vogel

Richard J. Vogel

President & CEO

Grupo Pullmantur

Recently, he has been appointed as the new president and CEO of Pullmantur Group. Since May, he also supports Saga Cruises as Non Executive Director.

Vogel’s professional career is strongly linked to the tourism sector, in particular the cruises. It has led him from Seetours via AIDA Cruises and TUI Cruises to Pullmantur Group. 

At Seetours Vogel initiated the building, orientation and distribution of the brand AIDA. As MD and VP Marketing & Sales at AIDA Cruises, he played a significant role in developing and establishing the brand.

Within the TUI Group, he was instrumental in the establishment of TUI Cruises. As its Chairman & CEO he led it to become a leader company within the cruise sector in Europe. 

Andrew Williams

Group Director of Aviation and Maritime Brands


Ben Wirz

Managing Director

GRC Global River Cruises GmbH, Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection

Ben Wirz is a hospitality and management professional with extensive international operations experience in a variety of positions.

Hotel Management School in Switzerland, Manager of a market research survey, Bar Manager on a luxury mega yacht, Maître d’Hôtel on a luxury expedition cruise ship, Manager in an exclusive London private members club at renowned chef and entrepreneur Anton Mosimann, Masters in Business Administration, Member of Chartered Management Institute in UK.
Since March 2012 he is with GRC Global River Cruises which owns and operates 13 luxury boutique river cruise ships and supports charter operations worldwide for Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection, currently holding the position of Managing Director.

Trevor Young

New Building Director

MSC Cruises