Hurtigruten Appoints Harber as President for the Americas Region
Cruise industry veteran returns from Asia to lead Hurtigruten’s expansion in the world’s largest cruise market.
Oslo, Norway (November 15, 2017) – Hurtigruten, the world leader in exploration travel, has appointed William Harber as President for the Americas, based in its Seattle regional headquarters. He will relocate from Hong Kong and be responsible for Hurtigruten’s commercial growth strategy in collaboration with the company’s senior leadership team.
“Building on nearly 125 years of Norwegian polar pioneering know-how and history, Hurtigruten is revolutionizing the global adventure travel industry through new state-of-the-art hybrid expedition vessels and trailblazing itineraries. We are strongly committed to offering the Americas the world’s safest, greenest and most adventurous expedition voyages. I am confident William Harber is the right person to establish our premium offering as a first choice of adventure travel for the modern American explorer,” noted Hurtigruten CEO Daniel Skjeldam.
For Hurtigruten, Harber is charged with driving sales and profitability across the U.S., Canada, Central and South America. He will broaden and deepen key travel agent relationships and open new channels for growth. He’s also tasked with increasing market share by ensuring effective brand positioning and driving sales, marketing, and communication strategies.
“I’m honored Hurtigruten has tapped me for this position and trust the many experiences I’ve gained in Asia and in my career in the cruise industry will serve me well in the role. It’s an exciting opportunity for growth at such an authentic and storied brand,” added William Harber, Hurtigruten President for the Americas. Harber’s successor in Asia-Pacific will be named after a brief transition period.
William Harber has over 20 years of experience, including 13 in the cruise industry. He was most recently Hurtigruten’s President for China & Asia-Pacific, successfully establishing the company’s regional headquarters and GSA set-up and striking a strategic partnership with Fliggy, Alibaba’s travel brand. He has served as Sr. Vice President & MD Asia for Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings and as Vice President, Market Development for Carnival Asia. In 2011, Harber was promoted to Vice President, Carnival Corporate Marketing, working globally across their 10 cruise brands. Harber originally joined Carnival’s Miami, FL headquarters in 2004 as a member of the Shared Services team.
Earlier in his career, Harber was a management consultant at A.T. Kearney and Director of Product Marketing for a technology start-up. He earned his MBA in Marketing Strategy from Emory’s Goizueta Business School and graduated from the Georgia Institute of Technology with a bachelor of Industrial & Systems Engineering.
Harber succeeds Gordon Dirker who opened Hurtigruten’s Americas headquarters in Seattle, WA and set the groundwork to further expand the brand.
Hurtigruten offers a highly attractive premium product for the modern adventure traveler seeking one-of-a-kind experiences in pristine destinations. As the largest player in both Poles, its voyages include Norway, Iceland, Greenland, Svalbard, Arctic Canada and the Northwest Passage, as well as South America and Antarctica.
The Hurtigruten fleet consists of 14 expedition ships, custom built for adventure travel. Two new groundbreaking expedition ships, the MS Roald Amundsen and the MS Fridtjof Nansen, are to be delivered in 2018 and 2019. They will be the world’s first hybrid battery powered cruise ships.