Odell retires after 35 years in cruise

The industry legend is calling it quits after a long career in the luxury cruise sector.

REGENT Seven Seas Cruises (RSSC) and Oceania Cruises’ long-tenured Managing Director Steve Odell is set to retire after a seven-year stint with Norwegian Cruse Line Holdings (NCLH).

A cruise industry veteran with more than 35 years of experience, Odell joined NCLH in October 2015 to spearhead the launch of its Asia Pacific business across its three brands.

In his most recent role since 2019, he has been responsible for the strategic expansion, vision and continued growth of NCLH’s presence in the Asia Pacific market for RSSC and Oceania.

“It has been an honour to lead the unmatched teams at Regent Seven Seas Cruises and Oceania Cruises during this exciting period of growth in the Asia Pacific region,” Odell said.

“I am proud of the significant achievements we have accomplished together, and I am confident that this is the right team to lead the company into the future and continue delivering best-in-class experiences for our loyal guests and valued travel partners.”

Added NCLH President & Chief Executive Officer Frank Del Rio: “we are grateful to Steve for his strategic vision and significant contributions to the company, which have positioned us as leaders in the fast-growing Asia Pacific region.”

Before arriving at NCLH, Odell served 17 years with Silversea Cruises, including as the line’s President Europe & Asia Pacific from 2011 to 2015.

He also served as Chair of the International Cruise Council Australasia (now CLIA Australasia) from 2005 to 2007, and following his return to Australia with NCLH, he reprised his Chair role for another two-year term from 2016-18.

CLIA’s local Managing Director Joel Katz said it is hard to imagine the Australian cruise sector without Odell.

“We’re grateful for all that he has done – for CLIA, for the cruise lines he has supported over a 40-year career, and for the entire cruise community in our part of the world,” he said.

“We know that he will continue to be an important friend and mentor for so many of us.”

RSSC’s Lisa Pile and Oceania’s Jason Worth will assume the mantle as the top representative for their brand in Australia, with both appointed General Manager & Vice President Sales APAC.

Pile will report into Caroline Smith, who herself has been appointed RSSC Managing Director International, overseeing sales and marketing for APAC, EMEA, LATAM and Brazil; meanwhile, Worth will report into Oceania Senior Vice President Sales Nikki Upshaw.

“I also want to congratulate Caroline, Lisa and Jason for their new and expanded roles, and I am confident they will help us continue to grow and evolve our presence in this important market,” Del Rio remarked.

“These transitions reflect our robust succession planning and the strength and talent of our broader team.”

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