This Week in Cruise: Michael J. Smith appointed SVP, marine hotel operations for Holland America Line


Holland America Line named Michael J. Smith SVP, marine hotel operations, replacing Johan Groothuizen who is retiring at the end of 2013 after 42 years with the company. In this role, Smith is responsible for the overall marine hotel operations, including on-board services such as culinary operations, all hotel and entertainment services for both Holland America Line, as well as Seabourn. He will report to Dan Grausz, EVP, fleet operations. Prior to joining Holland America Line, Smith was VP of hotel operations at Club Quarters Hotels in New York for more than 15 years. He also spent 16 years in the cruise industry serving in several executive positions both ashore and on board for Cunard Line, as well as Silversea Cruises.

Seabourn promoted Christopher Prelog to the role of VP of hotel operations and fleet purchasing. He was previously director of hotel operations. Prelog was educated in Austria, studying tourism and hospitality management in a five-year course of study. After graduating, he held several positions including restaurant manager and front office manager in Austrian hotels for another five years prior to joining Seabourn. He joined Seabourn in 1998 as an assistant maitre d'hotel. He was in training in 2003 to be an onboard hotel manager when the company invited him to move ashore as fleet hotel operations manager in the company's Miami headquarters. He was promoted to director of hotel operations in 2008.

Lastly, Carnival Corporation & plc detailed an expanded 2014 Japan cruise program for the Princess Cruises brand, which brings a second ship to the market, has sailings from three homeports and plans to expand the size of the cruise market in Japan to approximately 100,000 passengers. The Japan-built Diamond Princess will join Sun Princess for a cruise program from three homeports – Tokyo (Yokohama), Kobe, and an industry first, Otaru near Sapporo on Hokkaido. Sailing between April and October in 2014, the two ships will offer 42 departures with nine itineraries ranging from seven to nine days. The two ships will visit more than 20 ports in Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and Russia.