Hurtigruten Appoints John Downey as President for the Americas Region

Seasoned and innovative global executive to lead Hurtigruten’s continued expansion
in the world’s largest cruise market.

Seattle, WA - April 8, 2019 – Hurtigruten, the world leader in exploration travel, has appointed John Downey as President for the Americas, based in its Seattle regional headquarters. A seasoned global executive with a consumer products-focused expertise, Downey will be responsible for Hurtigruten’s commercial growth strategy in collaboration with the company’s senior leadership team. 

Downey’s appointment comes at an exciting juncture in Hurtigruten’s growth. Already the recognized leader in polar waters, Hurtigruten has now earned the distinction of being the world’s greenest cruise line. Innovations such as building the world’s first hybrid powered ships, fueling its vessels with waste products, and banning all unnecessary single-use plastic, have set a new industry standard for environmentally conscious expedition cruising to the most remote and pristine areas of our planet.        

“As we continue focused efforts to expand in the Americas and work to revolutionize the global adventure travel industry, recruiting top-tier talent is a crucial element to our success. Hurtigruten welcomes John Downey and his extensive, senior-level experience with innovative products and brands. His background is a strategic fit as Hurtigruten builds upon 125 years in the industry and on the heels of the introduction of the world’s first hybrid ships,” noted Hurtigruten CEO Daniel Skjeldam.

Downey is charged with driving sales and profitability across the U.S., Canada, and South America and will work to broaden and deepen key travel agent relationships and open new channels for growth. He is also tasked with increasing brand awareness and market share by ensuring effective brand positioning, marketing, and communication strategies to elevate Hurtigruten across all key consumer-facing spectrums.

“I’m thrilled to lead Hurtigruten’s growth in the U.S. market segment and look forward to building upon the company’s brand story as we take adventure cruising into the future. The opportunity to join Hurtigruten combines my passion for outdoor adventure and sustainable travel with my background and excitement for growing new product and service concepts for consumers to benefit their lifestyles,” added John Downey, Hurtigruten President for the Americas.  

Downey has extensive senior-level experience building and managing market-leading businesses. Most recently, he worked at Amazon, where he served as GM and Category Leader for Amazon Go, the world’s most advanced shopping technology, and led the team that introduced the innovative Amazon Meal Kits product line. Prior, Downey was a part of Motorola’s Mobile Devices division where he had global leadership responsibility for the market-leading Bluetooth wireless headset portfolio of over 20 product lines. He earned his MBA at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management, and his Bachelor of Arts in Economics and Psychology also from Northwestern.

Downey officially took his new position as Hurtigruten’s President of the Americas on March 20, 2019.

For any further inquiries, please contact:

Rune Thomas Ege
Hurtigruten VP, Global Communications 
+47 988 288 68
[email protected]

Holly Winter
Hill+Knowlton Strategies
+1 305 443 5454
[email protected]


About Hurtigruten
Hurtigruten is the world leader in exploration travel. As the largest cruise operator in polar waters, and with 126 years of know-how, we offer immersive experiences to some of the world’s most pristine and remote destinations, including Antarctica, Alaska, Arctic Canada and the Northwest Passage, Greenland, Iceland, Norway, Svalbard, and more. Hurtigruten’s fleet consists of 14 expedition ships, custom built for adventure travel. In addition, three new groundbreaking ships will be delivered: MS Roald Amundsen in 2019, MS Fridtjof Nansen in 2020, and a third new build in 2021. These will be the most advanced and environmentally friendly expedition vessels at sea, as well as the world’s first hybrid electric-powered cruise ships. Hurtigruten is an industry leader in sustainability, with a deep commitment to improving the marine environments we call home.