MSC Cruises has added cruise industry veteran, Michelle Lardizabal, as its new SVP and commercial sales officer, a newly created position.
In this role, Lardizabal will be responsible for the entire U.S. sales organization for MSC Cruises, reporting directly to Executive Vice President and COO Ken Muskat. Lori Sheller, MSC’s SVP of strategic accounts for the USA, will continue to drive MSC’s relationships with consortia and key accounts.
“Now is a critical time for MSC Cruises, as consumer demand and significant growth in capacity requires the full support of our valued travel advisors,” Muskat said in a statement accompanying the announcement. “We’re thrilled to welcome Michelle to the MSC Cruises’ team, as she brings industry expertise that will take our trade support to the next level as we aim to be the easiest and most supportive cruise brand to work with.”
Lardizabal most recently served as vice president of U.S. sales for Club Med, but had spent more than a decade at Royal Caribbean before that. With Royal, she was most recently the associate vice president of global sales and distribution. She also spent time as the vice president of sales for City Wonders, a European tour company.
“Returning to the cruise industry, which I know and love, is very exciting,” Lardizabal said. “Joining MSC Cruises, the cruise brand that has the most aggressive and exciting growth plans in the U.S. market — with the ability to bring my experience from cruise, tour, and land-based businesses to this next phase of MSC’s future — is an opportunity I couldn’t resist.