FORT LAUDERDALE — American Queen Voyages has kicked off its 10th anniversary year with a new acting president at its helm.
David Giersdorf, a travel and cruise industry veteran, will serve as acting president for a term of up to 18 months. In his new role, he will develop and implement American Queen Voyages’ overall business strategy and report directly to Kevin Rabbitt, chief executive officer of parent company Hornblower Group.
Said Rabbitt: “Hornblower Group is committed to the expansion of American Queen Voyages, as evidenced by the substantial investments in new vessels, our company rebrand, expanding technology, web and marketing tools and opening a new office in Fort Lauderdale, putting us right in the heart of the cruise industry.
“In order to expedite these goals, we need someone that can be charged with leading the organization with a deep knowledge of the industry, strong drive and sharp business instincts to ensure we are taking the necessary steps in our growth plan. I am thrilled to welcome David, our friend and cruise industry veteran, into the role of acting president. With David’s passion, resilient operational creative experience and a keen sense of the industry, I am confident he will provide the leadership we need to build and optimize all related opportunities for American Queen Voyage’s operations.”
Giersdorf brings with him over 40 years of experience as a senior executive, advisor and board member in the global cruise and travel industry, working with a publicly-traded $1B+ brand portfolio and as CEO of several cruise, travel and marketing services brands. He pioneered several Alaska tourism developments, owned and operated the Glacier Bay National Park lodging and excursion cruise concession, and built a leading global small ship cruise line, which was later sold to a Fortune 50 company. His additional work in the cruise industry includes establishing Windstar Cruises as a “180° From Ordinary” boutique cruise line, and spearheading the expansion of Holland America Line through its famous ‘Signature of Excellence’ initiative. In addition, he has served on a variety of boards including as Chairman of CLIA.
Prior to his appointment, Giersdorf served as an advisor to the cruise line for nearly three years, during which he supported the acquisition and reimagining of its independent shore excursions business, Venture Ashore, and more recently, the successful launch of Ocean Victory, the company’s Alaska Expedition experiences.
On joining American Queen Voyages, Giersdorf said: “This is an exhilarating time for the division, and I look forward to being part of a dedicated team building upon this company’s rich heritage. I was able to play an integral role in the design and development of the newly launched Alaska offerings with Ocean Victory, which recently embarked on its inaugural sailing with major success. I am energized to be leading the team during this new growth period for American Queen Voyages as the company continues to deliver amazing experiences for its guests.”