Explora Journeys has expanded its executive leadership team with the appointment of Norbert Stiekema as Chief Commercial Officer (CCO) and Vanessa Vollmann as Head of People.
Both positions will report directly to Michael Ungerer, CEO Explora Journeys, and be based in the luxury brand`s headquarters in Geneva.
Michael Ungerer, Chief Executive Officer, Explora Journeys said:
“As we gear up for the launch of our first vessel, Explora I, later this year and the subsequent launch of our entire fleet of six vessels in a five-year window, we need the best team to allow our brand to reach to achieve its true potential in the luxury cruise segment.
“This is why I am so pleased to have two supremely experienced professionals – Norbert and Vanessa – with their extensive experience in hospitality and travel and in high-end luxury consumer goods joining our leadership team at this juncture in our journey.
“They have joined at the start of an organic growth trajectory the likes of which has never been seen before in our segment.”
As CCO, Norbert Stiekema will be responsible for all business-related aspects of the brand and will support the launch of the operations of EXPLORA I.
The company said Norbert brings “considerable commercial experience with successful travel and hospitality brands”.
He has more than 30 years of experience, working across a range of leadership roles head-quartered across Europe, and most recently the Middle East where he worked for Cruise Saudi as its Chief Sales & Marketing Officer.
Previously he was Costa Cruises’ Chief Digital and Strategy Officer and prior to that, EVP of Sales and Marketing.
He also spent seven years in France at The Walt Disney Company as VP of Sales and Distribution EMEA having joined the organisation after more than thirteen years with the Dutch national airline, KLM.
Vanessa Vollmann, Head of People, will be responsible for all Human Resources-related topics at the brand`s headquarters in Geneva.
She will also be working across all key markets on HR-related topics for all shoreside employees of the brand.
Vanessa previously held senior HR roles for a range of well-known luxury brands, most recently for Roger Dubuis within the Richemont Group where she was International HR Manager.
Prior, she was HR Business Partner for Commercial Functions and Subsidiaries at TAG Heuer and worked in various HR roles both for Coty and Procter & Gamble.
EXPLORA I, the first of a planned fleet of six luxury ships, is being built by Fincantieri in Monfalcone, Italy. She will depart for her maiden journey on July 17, 2023, from Southampton, UK.
For more information, visit explorajourneys.com