Cruise West Creates New Position, Announces Promotions

Cruise West is boosting its sales and marketing departments with the introduction of Michael Thomas in the newly created position of vice president of guest experience. Thomas, a veteran cruise industry professional, was most recently with Celebrity Cruises where he served as director of entertainment and cruise programs for the fleet of nine ships.  He also held the position of cruise director with Celebrity Cruises, Crystal Cruises and Holland America Line.

“With Cruise West’s new 2009 itineraries on the Danube River, in the Galapagos Islands, and in Vietnam and Asia, we are preparing for strong sales growth,” said President & CEO Dietmar Wertanzl. “We created the position of vice president of guest experience to provide better focus on our signature ‘up-close, casual and personal’ guest experience. The enhanced sales department will allow for the greatest possible service to our travel agent partners.”

The company also promoted former director of sales Thomas Kratsch to vice president of sales and marketing where he will oversee the direction of the entire department, and appointed Kim Leaming as director of marketing. Leaming most recently serving as director of marketing for Majestic America Line and will lead and manage marketing, fulfillment and design teams to achieve marketing and sales revenue goals.

Also of note is the promotion of Cruise West sales veteran Hope Deschamps to director of national accounts, where she will deploy national marketing campaigns and grow revenues, as well as seek out and cement fresh revenue-producing opportunities with new national account partners. Bryce Brockway was promoted to vice president of marine and technical operations, where he will be responsible for encompassing personnel management, safety and training programs, operating and capital budgets, new vessel acquisition, and engineering and maintenance programs.


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