Cristienne de Souza, former executive of sales strategy and national accounts at Celebrity Cruises, has landed a new job with AmaWaterways (http://www.amawaterways.com). Effective November 11, she'll become the river cruise line's director of national accounts.
A 14-year-veteran of Royal Caribbean International and Celebrity Cruises, de Souza worked for those ocean lines in various capacities related to sales strategy, national accounts and home-based travel agents. In mid-September, De Souza left Celebrity Cruises when her position was eliminated in a major corporate reorganization.
At AmaWaterways, she'll report to Gary Murphy, formerly vice president of national accounts, who was recently promoted to vice president of sales, also effective Nov. 11.
“AmaWaterways is growing at a simply incredible pace, and our talented staff is growing right along with it," said Kristin Karst, AmaWaterways’ executive vice president and co-owner. "The director of national accounts is a newly created position and it’s ideal for someone with Cristienne de Souza’s experience and expertise."
Karst also said it's "the perfect time" for Murphy to take on more responsibility. "He’s been a huge asset to our company over the past four years, he’s greatly respected within the industry, and his promotion will enable us to maintain the ultra-high level of attention and service that we provide to all our travel partners," said Karst.
De Sousa holds a bachelor’s degree in marketing management and a MBA degree in international business, as well as a master’s degree in sustainable tourism and environmental management from Harvard University. Fluent in Spanish and Portuguese, de Souza is passionate about eco-travel and other environmental causes and has received numerous awards and accolades, including two “Travel Industry Executive of the Year” awards from the National Association of Career Travel Agents.
“One factor behind AmaWaterways’ tremendous success is their unwavering commitment to the travel agent community, said de Souza. "That’s my true passion as well,” said de Souza. “This business is built on strong relationships with our travel agent partners, and without them the river cruise industry would not be thriving like it is today. I’m excited to make the leap from ocean cruising to river cruising with the best company in the business.”
Murphy’s experience in the travel industry spans more than 25 years. Prior to joining AmaWaterways, he served as vice president of marketing and sales for Miami Air International before taking on various roles at one of the country’s leading tour operators, Brendan Worldwide Vacations, including vice president of marketing and sales and company president.
He left Brendan in 2009 to oversee national accounts for AmaWaterways. As vice president of sales, Murphy will continue to report directly to Karst. “This is a wonderful opportunity for me to work with AmaWaterways’ exceptional sales team in furthering our close relationships with our agency partners,” Murphy said.
Pictured: Amacerto // Photo by Susan J. Young