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Ambassador CCO Phil Gardner stepping down

Phil Gardner will take time off over the summer before seeking a new role at the end of the year
The CCO of Ambassador Cruise Line, Phil Gardner, exited his post today and will seek a new role later in the year.

Gardner has been with the cruise line since February 2022 and prior to that was the CCO at Fosun Tourism Group. 

Ambasssador Cruise Line launched in 2021. 

Part of the plan

‘Phil has been influential in driving and shaping our commercial structure and strategy,’ said Christian Verhounig, CEO, Ambassador Cruise Line. ‘It was always planned that he would move on from the business when the time was right, leaving us with a solid team who are focussed on building on the platforms his experience and expertise have brought to the CCO role.’ 

Verhounig explained, ‘During Phil’s time with the business, we have established a strong new cruise brand with a clear marketing proposition, launched two new ships to market, strengthened our inventory management capabilities and significantly enhanced our distribution and digital proposition. 

‘More recently, we have made a very strong start to the 2025/26 season with triple figure sales growth year-on-year mainly driven by trade, and we have made – and will continue to make – additional investments into trade distribution and the wider Ambassador trade team as we look to build on our success moving forwards.’ 

Gordon Nardini to report into Verhounig 

Nicola Harper, Ambassador’s head of distribution with responsibility for the contact centre and trade teams, and Dave Eastwood, head of inventory & trading, will report into Simon Weeks, Ambassador’s chief administrative officer. 

Gordon Nardini, Ambassador’s CMO, will now report into CEO Christian Verhounig directly.

Grateful to Ambassador

When questioned about his future plans, Gardner said, ‘I have some priorities with my family right now and have the unique opportunity of taking some time off over the summer before seeking a new role at the end of the year. These opportunities don’t come along in life very often and I am therefore very grateful to the business for helping facilitate this for the coming months.’ 

Verhounig stated, ‘We extend our sincere appreciation to Phil for the passion and energy he brought to the role during his tenure, and we wish him the very best in his future endeavours.'