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andy stuart and harry sommer
Andy Stuart, left, is a 30-year veteran of NCL. Harry Sommer, right, currently heads the international business for NCLH and has held a variety of roles including at Prestige Cruise Holdings and Renaissance Cruises

Harry Sommer to succeed Andy Stuart at NCL helm

Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings announced the planned departure of Andy Stuart, president and CEO of Norwegian Cruise Line, following the launch of Norwegian Encore.

He’ll be succeeded by Harry Sommer, current president, international for NCLH. Stuart will step down on Dec. 31 and remain as senior adviser through March 31 to ensure a smooth transition.

Instrumental in key achievements

Stuart joined Norwegian in 1988 and has been a steady presence through many management changes. He's held several key executive positions during his tenure of more than three decades, including president and COO, EVP of global sales and passenger services, EVP and chief product officer and EVP marketing, sales and passenger services.

Stuart has been instrumental in many of the line’s key achievements including the introduction of its revolutionary Freestyle Cruising, offering flexible dining and a more casual experience.

‘I could only have dreamed about my journey at Norwegian when I joined the company in 1988 and am extremely fortunate to have witnessed firsthand the incredible evolution of this pioneering brand,’ Stuart said. ‘I am honored to have played a role in the leadership position Norwegian now holds in this incredible industry and continue to be proud of the commitment, dedication and passion of our team for delivering a best-in-class vacation experience.’

Having worked closely with Sommer, Stuart said ‘I am confident he is the right person to take the helm and continue the journey for Norwegian Cruise Line.’

Leaving on a high note

‘Andy has accomplished everything possible in the cruise industry, including leading its most storied and innovative brand,' said Frank Del Rio, president and CEO, NCLH. 'He will leave on a high note after delivering the brand’s latest ship, Norwegian Encore, the last ship in the most successful ship class in the company’s history.

'We are extremely grateful for his leadership and contributions to Norwegian Cruise Line, our company and the cruise industry.’

Follows succession planning

Del Rio continued, “Over the last several years, Norwegian’s management and board of directors have worked closely on a comprehensive succession plan that leveraged the considerable bench strength across the organization. The board and I are confident that Harry is the right person to succeed Andy.’

‘I look forward to working with all of our incredible partners worldwide, building off the strong position the brand holds today and charting the strategy for the next phase of Norwegian’s journey,’ Sommer said.

Harry Sommer's background

Sommer is currently responsible for sales, marketing, public relations and office operations for Norwegian Cruise Line, Oceania Cruises and Regent Seven Seas Cruises in all markets outside of the United States and Canada.

He previously served as EVP international business development and EVP and chief integration officer for NCLH and held various executive positions for Prestige Cruise Holdings including chief marketing officer, SVP finance and chief information officer and chief accounting officer.

Before joining the company, Sommer ran a travel agency and, earlier, he worked eight years at Renaissance Cruises in various marketing and finance roles.