A new player has joined the cruise ship hospitality and catering market following the launch of COLUMBIA signature.
The new venture’s team of hospitality and catering experts will operate under the umbrella of COLUMBIA blue – The Leisure Group.
Its name was inspired by the one-of-a-kind food concepts, dishes and services delivered by its team. Adding the quality signature will elevate clients’ brands on many operational levels, the shipmanagement company said.
Olaf Groeger and Norman Schmiedl, Managing Director of COLUMBIA blue and signature, respectively, announced that Julia Siebert (pictured) has been appointed as COLUMBIA signature’s General Manager.
“Unlike any other leisure company in the past six months, we have – thanks to Julia – gathered a unique set of experienced, innovative and modern minds to further grow our team,” Groeger said.
“The result is amazing. In a short period, we have managed to gather more than 150 years of expedition and cruise industry experience, not to mention countless years of shore-based expertise. In addition to significant investment in our IT infrastructure, including adding a new procurement system, we are well geared for success,” he added.
Mark O’Neil, Columbia Shipmanagement President and CEO, said unifying COLUMBIA Group’s portfolio of leisure activities under the COLUMBIA blue umbrella triggered “a substantial number of inquiries” from the wider industry.
“In addition to our core market in the cruise industry, we are working on hotel management and catering projects in the yacht industry, ferry business, expedition sector, offshore installations, terminals and other remote maritime environments.
“Consultancies for shore-based hotel chains are also part of our scope. With this expansion, we felt we needed to provide a new and standalone identity within the Leisure Group,” he explained.
Siebert attributed COLUMBIA signature’s competitive advantage to a winning combination that other companies do not possess, such as the new company’s specialist expertise and the Group’s large purchasing and recruiting power.
“Each client has its own exclusive manager to ensure bespoke products and services, which allows us to stay dynamic, flexible and completely client-orientated in our dedicated teams, while exploiting the full Group potential.
“Another differentiator is our public health experts, providing services on Covid-19 and general outbreak prevention and sanitation compliance to several of the most reputable cruise lines. Within our organisation, the team ensures the highest health and hygiene standards,” she said.
“COLUMBIA signature is the next logical step in our Leisure Group strategy to deliver a specialised and 360-deg service to the entire leisure industry,” Schmiedl concluded.