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Azamara appoints Dondra Ritzenthaler as CEO amid exec reshuffle


Azamara has named former Celebrity Cruises SVP of sales, trade support and services for the Americas Dondra Ritzenthaler as its new chief executive.

Prior to her 20 years with Royal Caribbean and Celebrity, she spent nearly 20 years with American Airlines in a number of sales and marketing leadership roles.

Ritzenthaler will begin at Azamara in May 2024. Until then, chair of Azamara, Dan Hanrahan, will provide day-to-day leadership and oversight of the team. As a part of this change, Carol Cabezas has stepped down from her role.

“Azamara provides a unique and exciting offering within the luxury cruise space, and I am thrilled to have the opportunity to lead the company into its next chapter,” said Ritzenthaler.

“I look forward to working with the talented team and their travel partners to better serve the customer base and grow the Azamara brand.”

Appointments to help Azamara reach ‘full potential’

Meanwhile, Alain Ferzli joins the line as chief financial officer, effective immediately. Ferzli has more than 20 years of experience driving profitable growth in the cruise industry, previously serving as the acting chief financial officer for Virgin Voyages and in various financial leadership roles with Royal Caribbean.

Hanrahan said: “Our team has worked diligently to maintain a solid foundation for Azamara amid unique industry-wide challenges over the last several years. Dondra and Alain’s deep knowledge of and experience leading cruise lines will support the shift of our focus to expanding our business and realising Azamara’s full potential.”

The reshuffle comes after the line launched a new collection of itineraries designed for business professionals looking to combine work and cruise travel.

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