CruiseOne, the nation's leading cruise travel retailer as part of World Travel Holdings, today announced a major global expansion initiative and the opening of its first-ever international franchise. Gunnar E. Todal, a 25-year veteran of the cruise industry, has joined forces with CruiseOne as the company's first international franchisee. A dual U.S. and Norwegian citizen, Todal will operate his CruiseOne business from Kristiansund, Norway. The Norway franchise is the first of several new international locations to be announced by CruiseOne in the coming months as part of its strategic global expansion plan.
"Over the past 17 years, CruiseOne has emerged as a leader in the domestic-based cruise retail business," said Dwain Wall, Senior Vice President and General Manager of CruiseOne and its sister company, Cruises Inc. "Today marks an especially poignant day in our company's history, as we march forward in our quest to become a true international powerhouse. Norway is only the beginning."
Offering a unique insider's perspective on the cruise industry, Todal has a storied history working onboard Norwegian Cruise Line and Royal Caribbean International vessels. His 18-year tenure with Royal Caribbean included the positions of First Officer, Chief Officer, Staff Captain and most recently, Captain. After joining Royal Caribbean from NCL, Todal served as First Officer aboard M/S Song of Norway. He was then Chief Officer aboard M/S Splendour of the Seas, Majesty of the Seas, M/S Sun Viking and M/S Sovereign of the Seas. Following the Chief Officer positions, Todal was Staff Captain aboard M/S Monarch of the Seas, M/S Splendour of the Seas, M/S Mariner of the Seas and M/S Nordic Prince. He then became Captain of M/S Explorer of the Seas, M/S Navigator of the Seas and M/S Empress of the Seas, which was named "Best Royal Caribbean International Ship" in 2007 under his watch.
"The size of the international cruise market is unlimited as people in virtually every nation are seeking the ultimate travel experience," said Todal. "I am so pleased that CruiseOne took notice of the phenomenal opportunity that exists to seize market share. Combining innovative technologies and a commitment to personal customer service, CruiseOne has emerged as the top cruise retailer in the United States. I look forward to being first to market internationally with their outstanding product."
Todal's wife Adeline previously served as an associate for a CruiseOne franchise owned and operated by Skip and Joy Poole. After realizing the potential of the CruiseOne business model and seeking a new entrepreneurial endeavor, the Todals purchased a franchise location in Allentown, Pennsylvania. Adeline currently operates CruiseOne Allentown and will continue to do so as her husband launches the Norway location.
"Throughout the extensive CruiseOne training program, Gunnar has proven himself as a valuable resource with unparalleled industry expertise and Addie has, over the past two years, emerged as a crucial part of our franchise family," said Wall. "We could not be more thrilled to have the Todals with us as we embark upon an aggressive international expansion plan."