Carnival Group veteran Michael Ungerer to lead MSC’s new luxury cruise brand

‘This crowns my professional career and perfectly complements my luxury hospitality and cruise industry experience,’ Michael Ungerer said

Veteran senior executive Michael Ungerer has joined the MSC Group as CEO of its new luxury cruise brand.

Carnival Asia, AIDA Cruises, CLIA role

Ungerer brings more than 30 years of upper management experience in cruising and luxury hospitality, previously serving as COO shared services for Carnival Asia and before that, president of AIDA Cruises. He also chaired GLIA Germany and in 2015 was named Seatrade Cruise Personality of the Year.

Ungerer will be based in MSC’s global headquarters in Geneva and report to Pierfrancesco Vago, executive chairman of MSC Group’s cruise business and broader passenger division.

‘I am particularly pleased to make this announcement as it marks a key step forward in the setup of the organizational structure that will lead the development of our new luxury brand,’ Vago said. ‘For us, this was a natural progression of the work done across our contemporary brand MSC Cruises since its inception, including with the development of our highly successful premium ship-within-the-ship concept MSC Yacht Club.’

‘Aligned values’

Vago added that Ungerer brings ‘precious and deep industry and luxury-specific experience as well as personal and professional values that are aligned with our own.’

‘This crowns my professional career and perfectly complements my luxury hospitality and cruise industry experience,’ Ungerer said. ‘Furthermore, I am extremely proud of working closely with a visionary leader like Pierfrancesco Vago and an iconic shipping family that has been able to build a long-term sustainable business in a people-centered culture over many years with values which I deeply share.’

Four luxury ships

Earlier this year, MSC confirmed a €2bn order for four luxury cruise ships at Fincantieri. The approximately 64,000gt vessels are promised to feature the most advanced environmental technologies available.

The first ship is due for delivery in spring 2023, with the others to follow each year through 2026.

As earlier reported here, the brand will have a distinct name, to be announced.

Posted 11 September 2019

© Copyright 2019 Seatrade Informa Markets. Replication or redistribution in whole or in part is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Seatrade Informa Markets.

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Anne Kalosh

Author Bio ▼

Editor, Seatrade Cruise News & Senior Associate Editor, Seatrade Cruise Review Anne Kalosh covers global stories, reporting both breaking and in-depth news on cruising's significant people, places, ships and trends. A sought-after expert on cruising, she has moderated conferences around the world, including the high-profile State of the Industry panel at Seatrade Cruise Global. She created and led the acclaimed itinerary-planning case study for Seatrade's cruise master classes held at Cambridge and Oxford universities. She is the cruise columnist for, and her freelance stories have appeared in a wide range of publications, from The New York Times to The Miami Herald.

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