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MSC Group has announced details of five senior appointments to the management team of its Cruises Division’s new luxury brand.

“The leaders of the new brand bring more than 100 years of combined knowledge and expertise in the luxury, hospitality and cruise sectors,” said CEO Michael Ungerer in a press release statement. “Together they will create a luxury and lifestyle travel experience as distinct as it is trailblazing, exceeding the expectations of both discerning cruisers seeking something different, those new to cruising and nextgenlux travelers curious to start.”

The new hires include chief sales officer Chris Austin, who was most recently sr. v.p. of global sales and marketing at Seabourn Cruise Line. He previously worked for almost 20 years leading sales for the luxury brand portfolio at Starwood Hotels & Resorts.

Sarah Doyle is set to join MSC as chief marketing officer. Most recently she served as v.p. of marketing at Bacardi Limited Europe, and before that worked for Starwood Hotels & Resorts for six years. She was initially responsible for Starwood’s luxury brand portfolio, then became global brand director for W Hotels Worldwide where she opened six global properties.

Thatcher Brown will join as commercial and strategic advisor for the new luxury cruise brand. He was most recently president of Dream Cruises and managing director of Crystal Cruises Asia at Genting for four years.

Sacha Rougier has been appointed head of itinerary planning and shore experience at the luxury brand. She was previously managing director of Cruise Gate Hamburg for nearly six years and managed the completion of two new cruise terminals, overseeing a 73 percent increase in passenger numbers.

Lastly, John Stoll joins MSC as the new brand’s destination experience advisor. Previously he worked as v.p. of land programs for 17 years at Crystal Cruises, and before that worked as director of land programs at Silversea Cruises for more than five years where he created award-winning shore excursions.

“As momentum builds towards the reveal of our vision, our top team will continue to grow, with further highly talented and experienced appointments in people, product and culinary roles,” added Ungerer. “We’re getting ready to share our vision of luxury ocean travel with our trade partners when we will present our fleet, showcase our luxury vessels’ innovative designs and demonstrate what I believe will be a best-in-class guest experience for existing and future clients.”

The first vessel for the luxury brand will feature 461 of the largest suites at sea, and will be delivered in 2023 from the Fincantieri shipyard in Italy, with subsequent deliveries in 2024, 2025 and 2026.

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