Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. has selected Brazilian cruise industry veteran Ricardo Amaral as managing director of its operations in Brazil.

In the newly created position, Amaral will oversee all commercial and operational activities for three of the company's brands, Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises and Azamara Cruises. Amaral will assume his new position in January.

"We are very pleased to have such a seasoned cruise professional joining us and helping us establish a team in Brazil," said Michael Bayley, senior vice president, International, for Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. "Ricardo has a proven track record of success in our industry, and a long working relationship with our company. This will serve him well as he works toward opening our new office in Brazil, in 2009."

Amaral has 17 years of experience in the cruise industry, which includes working for leading cruise companies as their local representative and head of their marketing and sales operations in Brazil.

For the past nine years, Amaral has worked as the director of Marketing and Sales for Sun and Sea Representacoes, the company that has represented Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. in Brazil for 21 years. In that role he coordinated advertising, budgeting, sales, public relations and commercial strategy for Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises, Azamara Cruises.

Previously, Amaral spent seven years as a marketing manager for Costa Crociere in Brazil, where he oversaw marketing planning, budgeting, sales, and charters. Prior to that, he held positions at Oremar Brazil, working with Carnival and Cunard cruise lines, and at Sheraton Brazil.

"We thank our colleagues at Sun and Sea Representacoes for their outstanding service to our company over the past 21 years," Bayley said. "They have done an excellent job working with us and developing the cruise business throughout Brazil."

Amaral graduated from the Faculdades Integradas Hebraico Brasileiras Renascenca, in 1991, with a degree in Hotel Management. In 2002, he earned a Masters degree in tourism from the University of Sao Paulo, where he is currently completing a Doctorate degree in tourism. Amaral taught tourism and marketing for 14 years in several of Brazil's leading schools, including MBA courses in tourism at the University of Sao Paulo. He also is the author of the book, "Cruzeiros Maritimos."