New position strengthens commercial sales leadership as the fastest growing cruise brand in the world celebrates a milestone of four ships operating from the U.S. market
Fort Lauderdale, Florida, 14 October 2019 – MSC Cruises USA, the North American arm of MSC Cruises, has appointed Michelle Lardizabal as SVP & Commercial Sales Officer, a new position to oversee its entire U.S. sales organisation.
Michelle starts her new role on 16 October and joins from Club Med where she led the U.S. sales organisation and was a member of its Executive Committee and worldwide Leadership Committee. Prior to that, Michelle was VP Sales for City Wonders, the European guided tour company, where she successfully steered its global sales efforts as the company sought new destinations and distribution.
Michelle also spent more than a decade at Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd in a variety of roles, including Director of Inside Sales & Training, Director of Field Sales and Associate VP of Global Sales & Distribution, in a 25 year sales career.
She will report to Ken Muskat, EVP and Chief Operating Officer of MSC Cruises USA, who said of Michelle’s appointment, “We’re thrilled to welcome Michelle to the MSC Cruises’ team as she brings industry expertise that will take our travel trade support to the next level as we aim to be the easiest and most supportive cruise brand for travel agents to work with.”
Michelle joins MSC Cruises USA at a busy time for the Company as it looks to increase its market presence in the region.
MSC Cruises, the Geneva-based and fastest growing cruise Company in the world, recently deployed MSC Meraviglia to the U.S. which marks the first time in the organisations’s history that four ships will sail from the region, adding to MSC Seaside, MSC Divina and MSC Armonia.
Its long-term growth commitment to the market is marked by increased capacity, the opening on 9 November of Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve — MSC Cruises’ new stunning private island destination in the Bahamas — and a new state-of-the-art double berth cruise terminal being built in Miami.
Michelle added, “Returning to the cruise industry which I know and love is very exciting. With the ability to bring my experience from cruise, tour and land-based businesses to this next phase of MSC Cruises’ future is an opportunity I couldn’t resist.”