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Luxury small-ship cruise line Azamara announced today the appointment of two new senior executives who will take the lead as the company moves into its next growth phase.

Dondra Ritzanthaler, new CEO of Azamara.

Dondra Ritzenthaler, a 40-year veteran of the travel industry and most recently the senior v.p. of sales, trade support and services for the Americas for Celebrity Cruises, has been tapped to helm Azamara. Prior to her 20-year stint with Royal Caribbean and Celebrity, Ritzenthaler spent almost 20 years with American Airlines in numerous sales and marketing leadership roles. She will take the lead in May 2024; in the meantime, Dan Hanrahan, chair of the company, will be in charge of the day-to-day leadership and team oversight.

“Azamara provides a unique and exciting offering within the luxury cruise space, and I am thrilled to have the opportunity to lead the company into its next chapter,” said Ritzenthaler in a press statement. “I look forward to working with the talented team and their travel partners to better serve the customer base and grow the Azamara brand.”

Azamara Also Names New CFO

While Ritzenthaler’s takeover won’t begin until May of next year, Alain Ferzli will begin as chief financial officer for the line, effective immediately. The new senior executive brings with him over 20 years of experience driving profitable growth in the cruise industry, having served as acting CFO for Virgin Voyages and in several financial leadership roles within Royal Caribbean.

“Our team has worked diligently to maintain a solid foundation for Azamara amid unique industry-wide challenges over the last several years,” noted Hanrahan, in a press statement. “Dondra and Alain’s deep knowledge of and experience leading cruise lines will support the shift of our focus to expanding our business and realizing Azamara’s full potential.”

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