New cruise addition to the Signature exec team

Karl Kannstadler joins US luxury travel network frest from Silversea

Signature Travel Network is lifting the profile on its expedition and exploration program with the recent recruitment of Karl Kannstadler.

Toronto-based Kannstadter joins the luxury travel consortia as Vice President Content Strategy – Exploration after five years at Silversea where he specialised in expedition cruising. His background also includes nearly four years at Quark Expeditions as a Product Designer.

Alex Sharpe, President/CEO of Signature Travel Network told LATTE that Kannstadter will work alongside Ignacio Maza, the highly experienced content trainer and “chief inspirer” who is focused on Luxury. (For background, Maza has been with the consortia for close to 20 years and previously had tenures at American Express and Virtuoso). Kannstadter has been tasked with a similar role as Maza but in the exploration field.

At Signature, Exploration incorporates cruising, alongside trekking, safaris, space and balloon travel, such as Space Perspective, and will include a number of new niche operators.

“I think there’s a huge opportunity to inspire both consumers and advisors in this field, but there’s a great obligation to do that with great training,” Sharpe said.

“There’s a lot of advisors that can sell an Antarctica cruise, but do they understand how the Arctic differs? Do they understand how all those expedition cruise operators differ in offerings between the poles? Are they doing birding cruises in the Sea of Cortez, or operating European cruises that go to smaller ports?

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“There’s a lot of variances, so I think it requires some dedicated resources to really do that well.”

Sharpe said Kannstadter will also create inspiration for the exploration program for Signature Travel Network’s consumer-facing publications and training materials.

“The intersection of exploration and luxury travel has never been more apparent, and important,” Kannstadter said.

Karl Kannstadter, Vice President Content Strategy - Exploration, Signature Travel Network.

“A significant aspect of the training will be to dispel some of the misconceptions about exploration travel. Being able to point to luxury expedition ships, luxury lodges, and luxury tour operators will help get that message across.”

Kannstadter commenced in the role at Signature in March 2023.

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