MSC Group has announced that industry veteran Michael Ungerer joined its cruises business as CEO of MSC’s new currently-unnamed luxury brand.
Mr Ungerer joins MSC with over 30 years of senior management experience in cruising as well as in luxury hospitality.
He will be based out of the Company’s global headquarters in Geneva and will report to Pierfrancesco Vago, Executive Chairman of MSC Group’s cruises business and broader passenger division.
Mr Vago commented: “I am particularly pleased to make this announcement as it marks a key step forward in the set-up of the organizational structure that will lead the development of our new luxury brand. 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.”
MSC Yacht Club can be found on several of MSC Cruises ships which include upcoming MSC Grandiosa and the existing ships MSC Bellissima, MSC Seaview, MSC Seaside, MSC Meraviglia, MSC Preziosa, MSC Divina, MSC Splendida and MSC Fantasia.
“Central to our new luxury brand will be above all respect for the environment – with the introduction of new ground-breaking technologies – as well as innovation in both hardware and experience, two core MSC values that extend to all our business. To this end, Michael – whom I wish to welcome to the broader MSC family – brings to the table precious and deep industry- and luxury-specific experience as well as personal and professional values that are aligned with our own.”
Mr Ungerer added: “I am immensely honoured and totally excited about the opportunity this one-of-a-kind, truly outstanding project presents. This crowns my professional career and perfectly complements my luxury hospitality and cruise industry experience. 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.”
Earlier this year, MSC confirmed an order for four luxury cruise ships to be built by Fincantieri for a total value exceeding EUR 2 billion. The vessels will have a gross tonnage of approximately 64,000 GT and will feature the latest and most advanced environmental and maritime technologies available. Additionally, these super-yachts – which will introduce to the luxury segment a broad range of new guest experiences and other activities as well as feature generous ratios of public spaces – will also showcase a highly-innovative design.
The first of the four vessels will be delivered by Spring 2023. The remaining three will come into service one per year over the following three years through 2026.
Mr Ungerer, 53, is an Austrian citizen and holds an Executive MBA from INSEAD where he also graduated from the Independent Director Programme (IDP).