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Explora appoints Norbert Stiekema CCO and Vanessa Vollmann head of people

Norbert Stiekema will be responsible for all business-related aspects of Explora Journeys while Vanessa Vollmann will be responsible for all human resources-related topics
Explora Journeys appointed Norbert Stiekema CCO and Vanessa Vollmann head of people, with both based at the line’s Geneva headquarters and reporting to Explora CEO Michael Ungerer.

Stiekema will be responsible for all business-related aspects of Explora Journeys and will support the launch of operations for Explora I, bringing considerable commercial experience with successful travel and hospitality brands.

Explora I is to commence its maiden journey on July 17 from Southampton.

Vollmann will be in charge of all human resources-related topics at Explora Journeys’ HQ and will also work on HR matters with the brand’s main markets for all of its shoreside employees. 

‘Two supremely experienced professionals’

Remarked Ungerer, ‘As we gear up for the launch of our first vessel Explora I later this year, and the subsequent launch of our entire fleet of six vessels in a five year window, we need the best team to allow our brand to reach to achieve its true potential in the luxury cruise segment.

‘This is why I am so pleased to have two supremely experienced professionals…with their extensive backgrounds in hospitality and travel, and in high-end luxury consumer goods, joining our leadership team at this juncture in our journey.’

Ungerer observed that Stiekema and Vollmann have joined the line ‘at the start of an organic growth trajectory the likes of which has never been seen before in our segment.’

Norbert Stiekema

Norbert Stiekema has more than 30 years' experience in a range of leadership roles headquartered across Europe and most recently worked for Cruise Saudi in the Middle East as its chief sales and marketing officer. 

Previously he was employed for eight years at Costa Cruises as chief digital and strategy officer and prior to that, EVP sales and marketing. 

Stiekema spent seven years in France at The Walt Disney Company as VP sales and distribution EMEA having joined the organisation after more than 13 years with Dutch national airline, KLM.

Vanessa Vollmann

Vanessa Vollmann held senior HR roles at a range of luxury brands, most recently for Roger Dubuis within the Richemont Group, where she was international HR manager.

Prior to this, Vollmann was HR business partner for commercial functions and subsidiaries at TAG Heuer, and also worked in various HR roles both for Coty and Procter & Gamble.