Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings has announced that company veteran Andy Stuart has been named president and chief operating officer of Norwegian Cruise Line, effective March 4, following the resignation of Drew Madsen.
Stuart has been with Norwegian Cruise Line since 1988 and has held a number of leadership positions, most recently as executive vice president of sales.
“Given the recent restructuring of the role and job responsibilities, Drew has decided to step down. We thank him for his contributions and wish him well,” said Frank Del Rio, president and CEO of Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings. “As we continue to build the newly merged organization, we are tapping into the tremendous company and industry knowledge that Andy has, along with the strong relationships he has built with our travel partners.”
“Andy and Norwegian are virtually synonymous. He is very well known and respected by our guests, travel partners, officers, crew, and team members. I am extremely confident that he is the perfect leader for the next phase of Norwegian’s growth,” said Del Rio. In this role, Stuart will report to Del Rio.
“This is a very well-deserved promotion for Andy Stuart and a great decision by Frank Del Rio and the board,” John Lovell, president of Travel Leaders Franchise Group, Leisure Group and Vacation.com, tells Travel Agent. “Andy has long been an exceptional leader for the Norwegian Cruise Line brand. He’s proven time and again to be an enormous advocate for the travel agency community, and we expect he’ll continue setting that tone through his excellent leadership for years to come.”
“Frank Del Rio could not have stated it better,” says Jackie Friedman, president of Nexion. “Andy Stuart is synonymous with Norwegian Cruise Line – and he’s equally synonymous with the cruise industry. We look forward to working with him in his new and well-deserved role. Plus, now that he’ll be at the helm of Norwegian Cruise Line, we really can’t wait for our Nexion agents to experience their first-ever CoNexion meeting at sea aboard Norwegian Getaway.”
"We are so excited about Andy's appointment to president and COO," says Vicky Garcia, COO and co-owner of Cruise Planners, an American Express Travel Representative. "Andy truly represents Norwegian, is a rock star with travel agents and always supports the travel agent community. He was a great choice for this role and we are excited to see where he takes the line."
Stuart has been instrumental in building the Norwegian brand, particularly in the roll out and marketing of the line’s signature Freestyle Cruising, Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings said in a release. He also strengthened relationships with travel partners with the introduction of Partners First. During his 27-year tenure with the company, he has held responsibility for a number of key areas including: global sales, passenger services, revenue management, marketing and public relations. He also served as chief product officer, responsible for delivery of the Freestyle Cruising product across the Norwegian fleet.