Frank Del Rio to Head Norwegian Cruise Holdings

After announcing his retirement, Del Rio makes a surprise reentrance as president and CEO of Norwegian By: Marilyn Green
Frank Del Rio // © 2015 Norwegian Cruise Holdings
Frank Del Rio // © 2015 Norwegian Cruise Holdings

The Details

Norwegian Cruise Lines

Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. has named Frank Del Rio as president and CEO of the company, which includes Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL), Regent Seven Seas Cruises and Oceania Cruises, which Del Rio co-founded. Kevin Sheehan, who had led Norwegian for seven years, has resigned.

Why It Matters:
There would have been nothing surprising about Del Rio heading up the amalgamated company — except that he had recently announced his retirement. Additionally, Sheehan was widely expected to keep his leadership role through 2018. With so much movement within the company — late last year Drew Madsen was named president and CEO of NCL and Jason Montague was appointed president and chief operating officer of Oceania and Regent —cruise industry players will be watching intently to see what the new Norwegian team accomplishes in the coming years.

Fast Facts:
- Del Rio served as CEO of the Prestige brands Oceania Cruises and Regent Seven Seas Cruises beginning April 2007.

- Norwegian acquired Prestige last fall for more than $3 billion.

What They Are Saying:
“Frank Del Rio has established himself as a leader and innovator in our industry,” said Steve Martinez, member of Norwegian’s Board of Directors. “Norwegian is poised for continued growth, and we are delighted to have Frank lead our team during the next phase of the company’s evolution. We also thank Kevin Sheehan for his service to the company. He has built Norwegian into the highly successful company it is today. Most recently, he was integral to the Prestige acquisition, assembling a diversified portfolio of brands that spans all market segments in the cruise industry, which we believe puts the company in a strong position for the future.”

“It has been a privilege to lead Norwegian over the last seven years,” Sheehan said. “I am proud of what we have accomplished, and take comfort in the knowledge that I am leaving the company much healthier and stronger than when I joined. With the company set for success, I hand the baton off to Frank, a proven leader in the cruise industry.”

“I am excited to begin this new chapter in my long career in the cruise industry,” Del Rio said.  “I am blessed with a great team at Norwegian, and I am confident that together we can help our company continue to realize great things.”