Two major cruise announcements were made yesterday (May 12th).
Holland America Line President Orlando Ashford has announced that he will be leaving the company at the end of May. Meanwhile, after 35 years with Carnival Corporation, Richard (Rick) Meadows will be retiring from Seabourn at the end of May, the company announced on Tuesday (May 11th).
Ashford, who heads the premium cruise line within the Carnival Corporation family of brands, has been at the company for nearly five and half years and led a rejuvenation of the brand through an emphasis on enhanced onboard entertainment, live music and culinary experiences.
Meadows is currently president of Seabourn, an ultra-luxury brand in the Carnival Corporation, leading all business and global operations. He has held this position since 2011, when the company moved its headquarters to Seattle from Miami.
Ashford steps down
Since November 2014, Ashford has served as president of Holland America Line, leading the cruise line's brand and business, including its fleet of 14 premium vessels which carry more than 900,000 guests annually to all seven continents.
He oversaw Holland America Line's sales and marketing, revenue management, deployment and itinerary planning, public relations, hotel operations and strategy. Recently he has guided the company through an unprecedented pause in global cruise operations that have been extended through the line's planned 2020 Alaska, Europe and Canada/New England sailing seasons.
"Orlando has made a substantial contribution to Holland America Line during his tenure, bringing a renewed energy to the premium cruise line that was recognized with many awards and accolades," said Stein Kruse, Group CEO of Holland America Group and Carnival UK. "His unique background as an innovator and global leader in human resources was highly respected in our organization and his dynamism will be greatly missed."
"It has been an honour and a privilege to lead the evolution of the Holland America Line brand for more than five years," said Ashford. "I can't say enough about the talent and teamwork both shoreside and on board the ships that has driven our many successes over the years.
"Today, a global pandemic has impacted our industry in ways that are completely unprecedented," added Ashford. "However, I believe it is human nature to travel and explore new places and cultures and meet new people. I have no doubt that Holland America Line will thrive again soon, and its guests will be ready when cruise operations resume. I look forward to being one of the first to sail."
Meadows looks to retirement
"I've had so many amazing opportunities throughout my career, passionately leading a number of global cruise brands as well as working with so many talented team members, travel advisors and other stakeholders around the world," Meadows said in a statement. "It has been a true honour to help craft those lifetime memories and special moments for our guests, through the profound power of travel, which brings people and cultures together. I look forward to the day when we can once again welcome our guests back on board."
Stein Kruse, Group CEO of the Holland America Group and Carnival UK, added: "Rick's contributions to the cruise industry and his leadership in elevating Seabourn to the ultimate ultra-luxury cruise experience, bar none -- are legendary. He will forever be part of our Carnival Corporation story and he has made us all better through his professionalism, authenticity and leadership."
Between 2014 and 2016, Meadows served in an additional leadership role as president of Cunard – North America, and assumed operating responsibility for the iconic Cunard brand throughout the North American continent.
Carnival Corporation’s family of brands recently announced it was extending its pause in global cruise operations until mid-October through late November, depending on the ship.
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