Paul Gauguin Shipping Limited today announced that David Giersdorf has joined the company as Acting President and CEO as the company assumes full operation of Paul Gauguin beginning in January 2010. Mr. Giersdorf has more than 30 years of experience in the cruise industry and business management, including senior management and/or ownership positions at Exploration Cruises, Windstar Cruises, Holland America, Ambassadors Cruise Group, Glacier Bay Lodge, and the marketing services firm CF2GS. He is a former Chairman of CLIA.
With David’s strong leadership skills and expertise in small ship cruising, the company looks forward to delivering continued excellence on its five-plus star Paul Gauguin, to expanding relationships with travel agents and other sellers, and to growing the business as it assumes full operation of all aspects of Paul Gauguin in 2010 and beyond.
David Giersdorf, CEO of Giersdorf Group, will lead the Paul Gauguin transition team by serving as Acting President and CEO for an initial period of six months. Paul Gauguin Shipping Limited and Giersdorf Group have entered into an agreement that will ensure a successful transition and continuation for the luxury vessel Paul Gauguin, which will operate under the Regent Seven Seas Cruises fleet through 2009 and then operate independently thereafter.
Prior to establishing Giersdorf Group, Mr. Giersdorf was president of Ambassadors Cruise Group, the parent company of Majestic America Line and Windstar Cruises, where he oversaw cruise operations. Before that, he served as executive vice president of sales and marketing at Holland America Cruise Line.
"I have a deep passion for small-ship cruise experiences, and a history in the development of French Polynesia cruising, so I am very pleased to work together with the owners and fine professionals of Paul Gauguin Shipping Limited to build upon the company's award-winning South Seas cruise experiences and strengthen its valuable relationships with travel sellers of all types,” said Mr. Giersdorf. “Our immediate focus is to establish the reservations, sales and marketing resources to support the upcoming announcement and launch of Paul Gauguin's robust 2010 schedule of sailings and to support the efforts of the company's many distribution partners who have been so critical to Paul Gauguin's success."
During its January 25-February 5, 2009 dry dock in Brisbane, Australia, Paul Gauguin will undergo a $6 million renovation in order to enhance the five-plus-star vessel’s existing classic Polynesian elegance. Itineraries and pricing for 2009 are currently available, with specific itineraries, retail pricing information, and customer service and support for 2010 products to be available by January 31, 2009.
Paul Gauguin has received myriad awards and recognition for excellence, including Travel Weekly Readers’ Choice Awards for “Best Luxury Cruise” (2007, 2006, 2005, 2004); Condé Nast Traveler readers awards for “Highest-Ranked Small Ship Luxury Cruise Ship” (2008) and one of the “World’s Top Rated Small Ships” (10 years in a row, since 1998); Cruise Critic Editor’s Pick for “Top Luxury Cruise” and “Top Romantic Ship” (2008, 2004); Porthole Readers’ Choice Awards for “Best South Pacific Itinerary” (2007, 2006); and others.