The news came in tandem with MOL President & CEO Takeshi Hashimoto announcing the acquisition of Seabourn Odyssey. The ship will begin sailing for its new owner in late 2024 following a refurbishment and renaming. This also follows MOL's plans, announced in November, to order two newbuilds.
Meanwhile, with two cruise ships, including its 1990-built Nippon Maru, Mitsui O.S.K. Passenger Line under President Yusuke Ueno will be able to offer products that meet a wider range of customer needs.
New concept planned
And, together with the newbuilds, the group said it aims to develop a 'high-quality international service based on a new concept that will enrich people’s lives and celebrate the culture of Japan.'
To that end, MOL plans to establish a Well-being & Lifestyle Business starting in April and a new Cruise Business Innovation Project Unit that will develop and lead the expansion of the cruise business. Mitsui O.S.K. Passenger Line and the new organization will work closely to offer cruise services intended to 'captivate and delight customers with its innovative and exclusive product offerings.'
To assist by providing a more global perspective, Tony Kaufman will serve as senior executive advisor. He has held key positions with Carnival Corp. & plc, Holland America Group and Princess Cruises, where he played a major role in developing Japan's inbound and outbound markets.