Frank J. Del Rio, President and CEO of Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd, is retiring after three decades in the cruise industry.
Harry Sommer, the President and CEO of Norwegian Cruise Line, has been revealed as the successor to Frank J. Del Rio, the President and CEO of Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. Del Rio has chosen to retire from the post, along with his position on NCLH’s Board of Directors, stepping down from the positions on 30 June 2023. He will serve in a consultancy capacity as a Senior Advisor on the Board until 2025.
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Sommer has been the head of NCL since 2020, and has also previously served as President, International of Oceania Cruises and Regent Seven Seas Cruises, the other two cruise brands operating under NCLH. He will succeed Del Rio as President and CEO of NCLH in a transitional role effective 1 April 2023, overseeing the Company’s tri-branded departments, and reporting to Del Rio. Sommer will also join the NCLH Board od Directors from 1 July 2023.
David J. Herrera, who has served as Chief Consumer Sales and Marketing Officer of NCL since 2021, will succeed Sommer as President of NCL, effective 1 April 2023.
Del Rio has led the Company since 2015. Prior to that, he led Prestige Cruise International, Inc., or its predecessor, which operated Oceania Cruises and Regent Seven Seas Cruises, from 2002 until its acquisition by Norwegian. Del Rio founded Oceania Cruises in 2002, creating a new “upper premium” market space in the cruise industry.
During his tenure, Del Rio successfully led the Company in welcoming eight new and innovative ships since 2015, introducing the Company’s second private island destination, Harvest Caye, and achieving industry-leading yields and financial results. He also led the Company through the COVID-19 pandemic, the most tumultuous time in its 56-year history, and was a vocal leader and advocate for the entire cruise industry through unprecedented times as it worked to resume cruise operations globally.
Sommer, 55, has more than 30 years of cruise industry experience across sales, marketing, revenue management, passenger services, itinerary development and international business development and operations. In addition to his role as President and Chief Executive Officer, NCL, Sommer expanded his responsibilities in recent months to include oversight for all of the Company’s other revenue-generating functional areas, including Oceania Cruises, Regent Seven Seas Cruises and the tri-branded Onboard Revenue department.
“On behalf of the Board and the entire organisation, I thank Frank for his invaluable contributions to this Company and the cruise industry throughout the last 30 years,” said Russell W. Galbut, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. “He has delivered superior financial results, expanded our fleet with luxurious and innovative ships, strengthened our global footprint and delivered unparalleled experiences for our guests. His passion and dedication will have a lasting impact on both our business and the industry at large.”
“The Board is thrilled to appoint Harry to succeed Frank as the Company’s next CEO, – the culmination of a thoughtful succession planning process,” Galbut continued. “A highly experienced leader and operator, Harry has worked alongside Frank for many years and helped drive the success of our largest, award-winning brand during a critical time.
“He successfully relaunched the NCL fleet following a more than 500-day pause, delivered the game-changing Norwegian Prima, the first of six ships in the brand’s new class, and led the team to a record-breaking booking year in 2022. Harry is undoubtedly the right leader to lead our Company forward into the next chapter of growth.”
Del Rio said
“Leading Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my professional career.”
“My heartfelt gratitude goes out to our 39,000 team members around the globe whose innovation, tenacity and collaboration have strengthened this Company and built the industry’s most passionate and loyal base of cruisers.”
With the Company solidly positioned for 2023 and beyond, I am confident that now is the right time to pass the baton to Harry.
“Having worked closely with Harry for decades, I know firsthand that his talent and skills are ideally suited to take this Company into its next era. I look forward to continuing to work closely with Harry, the Board and our management team during the coming months to ensure a seamless transition and I am delighted to continue to serve as a Senior Advisor to the Board after the transition,” Del Rio added.
“I am incredibly humbled to succeed Frank as this iconic Company’s next President and CEO, and I’m grateful to have the unwavering support of him and the Board to lead the Company as we embark on the next chapter for our storied brands,” Sommer said. “I am proud to have been a part of the Company’s successes during the last 15 years, and I look forward to the bright future ahead, including the transformational growth we have in the pipeline.
“I am honored and excited to lead and work alongside what is unquestionably the best team in the industry to deliver on our business and financial goals.”
Sommer added, “I’m particularly happy that David will be leading Norwegian Cruise Line as he has been a key contributor to NCL’s success in recent years. With his strong financial, sales, marketing and business development background, David will be further empowered to guide the NCL brand on an accelerated path forward. I am confident that he is the right person, at the right time, to lead this amazing brand into a bright future ahead.”
“I look forward to continuing to work alongside Harry and our leadership team to build on our strong momentum and continue to provide NCL guests with industry-leading experiences. I am honoured and grateful for this incredible opportunity to lead this premier cruise line and our world-class team.”