WHY IT RATES: The cruise line is reworking its leadership team with an industry veteran.—Donald Wood, Breaking News Senior Writer.
American Queen Voyages announced that industry veteran, Cynthia “Cindy” D’Aoust, has been named president of American Queen Voyages (AQV). D’Aoust joins AQV with nearly 40 years of experience in the travel and hospitality industry including previously serving as the President of Hospitality for Cape Resorts Management Company and Global President & CEO of Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA.) She will commence the role beginning on Monday, Oct. 3, 2022.
“Hornblower Group is committed to the expansion of American Queen Voyages, as evidenced by the substantial investments in vessels, company rebrand, talent and training, technology, a new Fort Lauderdale headquarters, in the heart of the cruise industry epicenter,” said Kevin Rabbitt, chief executive officer, Hornblower Group. “We are thrilled to welcome Cindy to American Queen Voyages as our new President, bringing her exceptional background in successfully leading travel associations and hospitality brands through periods of growth. I am confident that through Cindy’s deep knowledge of the industry, expertise in elevating brands coupled with her considerable talent, leadership skills, and respected reputation, she will greatly contribute to the future success of American Queen Voyages.”
As President, D’Aoust will be responsible for developing and implementing AQV’s overall business strategy: providing guidance to the leadership team to create growth, driving innovation, performance and guest satisfaction. D’Aoust will assume the role of President from current Acting President, David Giersdorf. Over the course of the past four months, Giersdorf has brought his deep passion and knowledge of the overnight cruise industry and has lent tremendous support in working collectively with the AQV leadership team to ensure the company is well positioned for the future.
“This is an exhilarating time for American Queen Voyages, and I am excited to be part of a dedicated team building upon this company’s rich heritage,” said D’Aoust. “American Queen Voyages continues to carry forth the brand’s heritage and tradition by celebrating what always remains at its core – a commitment to excellence and a dedication to creating amazing experiences for our guests. I am thrilled to be leading the team during this great growth period for American Queen Voyages as the company continues to elevate the brand even further in the forthcoming years.”
Parent company Hornblower Group, backed by Crestview Partners, continues to remain committed towards AQV and the expansion of its overnight division globally. To support the future growth of the organization, AQV will join Hornblower’s newly created overnight division. Headed up by Chris Tallent, chief executive officer of Journey Beyond, Australia’s leading experiential travel company, this division will further benefit AQV by having it join the iconic overnight rail and lodging brands of Journey Beyond and aligning them with AQV to strengthen its global go-to-market strategy, uniting Hornblower’s portfolio to trade partners and further reinforcing the connectivity and alignment between all of Hornblower’s brands.
Cynthia D’Aoust has over 20 years of experience as a high-performing executive within the corporate travel and hospitality industry. She brings a deep knowledge of the travel and hospitality industry through her leadership of an award-winning overnight hospitality business and a respected reputation within the travel and trade industry. D’Aoust previously served as the President of Hospitality for Cape Resorts Management Company, a portfolio of classic American destination properties in Cape May, NJ and The Hamptons, which hold deep a respected heritage within their communities and for its guests.
Prior to Cape Resorts, D’Aoust served as the Global President & CEO of Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA), the world’s largest cruise industry association, providing a unified voice and leading authority of the global cruise community in defining industry policies and practices that foster a safe, secure, healthy and sustainable environment for the millions of passengers who cruise annually. During her four years with CLIA, D’Aoust and her team increased travel agent membership by over 400% through development of educational programs, engagement and its events portfolio.
D’Aoust also served in a variety of board affiliations and memberships across the global travel landscape. She currently resides in Cape May, NJ and will be relocating to South Florida. D’Aoust is a mom of four and grandmother of three.
American Queen Voyages is celebrating its 10th anniversary in 2022 as the leader in encounter travel, offering a comprehensive portfolio of North American itineraries comprised of Rivers, Lakes & Oceans and Expedition experiences. The American Queen Voyages brand enables guests to experience all its expansive opportunities for discovery of North American under one umbrella. Discovery runs deep for guests, connected by American Queen Voyages whether river, lakes and oceans or expedition cruising.
SOURCE: American Queen Voyages press release.
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