For a Legacy of Innovation
As Norwegian Cruise Line evolved during the past three decades, Andy Stuart, president and CEO, has been “front and center” — either promoting, designing or launching innovative concepts, programs and ships. Integral to the debut of Norwegian’s revolutionary “Freestyle Cruising” concept, he helped introduce the line’s first purpose-built Freestyle Cruising ship in 2001. That ushered in a new era of “guest choice” and much greater flexibility for cruisers in dining and activities.
During Stuart’s tenure, Norwegian’s entertainment evolved from standard cruise ship fare to The Blue Man Group and the Broadway-licensed Jersey Boys. Revenue-wise, Stuart moved Norwegian from the industry’s former standard of close-in discounting to a more value-added “Free at Sea” approach, with the best deals further out.
From the launch of those first Freestyle cruising ships to the debut of the American-flagged Pride of America, Stuart has been actively involved with Norwegian’s fleet development. Stuart and Frank Del Rio, president and CEO of parent company, Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings, have debuted such razzle-dazzle ships as the Breakaway-Plus class with laser tag and racetracks, and expanded The Haven, an upscale “ship within a ship” concept.
An approachable leader with a great sense of humor, Stuart, along with Camille Olivere, senior vice president of sales, also built solid trade relationships and created tools, incentives and programs to assist advisors. Many agents have expressed sadness that Stuart plans to step down from his president’s role at year’s end.
That said, Stuart will participate in Norwegian Encore’s upcoming christening/inaugural festivities with recording artist Kelly Clarkson (see photo, top) as godmother, and will consult for NCL in the first quarter 2020. Throughout the years, Stuart has innovated at every turn — and at just one line through 31 years and many top leadership changes, a rare achievement.