Celestyal Cruises has announced the appointment of Gordon Dirker as vice president, business development – North America. Dirker began working for the cruise line on January 2, 2018. He is responsible for all North American field sales activities, reporting to Leslie Peden, president, Celestyal Cruises Inc.
Dirker is an experienced sales professional with 21 years of senior-level success in leisure, travel and tourism, both B2B and B2C, with a skill set comprising C-level negotiations, tour operations, expedition cruising and Customer Relationship Management (CRM), Celestyal Cruises said. Throughout his career he has cultivated strong relationships and is well-respected in the industry.
From 2014 until 2017, Dirker was vice president, Americas at Hurtigruten, Inc., an international expedition cruise line based in Oslo, Norway and the owner and operator of 15 small to medium-sized cruise vessels. While at Hurtigruten, Dirker drove growth throughout the America’s B2B and B2B2C distribution channels and reported directly to the global vice president of sales in Oslo. While at Hurtigruten he in-sourced and established Hurtigruten’s sales operation in Seattle, increased sales by 68 percent and signed newly-preferred distribution partnerships with key North American consortia.
Prior to Hurtigruten Dirker was the director of sales at Brendan Vacations (part of The Travel Corporation), where he managed the company’s national sales efforts. During his tenure at Brendan Vacations, Dirker developed additional distribution channels and bolstered existing partnerships, which increased market share for the company.
All Celestyal Cruises business development managers in North America now report to Dirker: he is responsible for sales development in California, Oregon and Washington, in addition to nationwide team management responsibilities.