Luxury yacht-style cruise line, Miami-based Windstar Cruises, has announced two leadership changes.
Janet Bava (pictured) is Windstar Cruises’ new CCO as of 24th July, 2023, while Betsy O’Rourke, Windstar’s CCO since 2020 and also the CCO of Windstar’s parent company Xanterra Travel Collection since 2012, moves to a consultancy role within Xanterra and its ownership, The Anschutz Corp, as well as engaging in outside Board opportunities.
Christopher Prelog, who will celebrate three years as President of Windstar in September after a long career in ship operations, said: “This is a very comforting and energising evolution for all of us at Windstar Cruises. We couldn’t be happier for Betsy and her success, and to still have access to her wisdom and counsel, while at the same time enthusiastically welcoming cruise industry veteran Janet Bava on board, who previously worked with Betsy at Royal Caribbean.”
Today, Windstar operates three all-suite luxury ships and three sailing yachts, taking between 148 and 342 guests to both iconic and small ports where big ships can’t reach.
Bava will be responsible for driving strategic growth initiatives, leading marketing, sales, reservations, and deployment teams to further elevate the company’s position in the global market.
“I am passionate to return to small ship, luxury cruising, a category that has experienced tremendous growth in demand in the last few years.
“As the new Chief Commercial Officer at Windstar, I am eager to build upon the exceptional work done by Betsy and further elevate the Windstar experience under Chris Prelog’s leadership. Magnify that with the Xanterra Travel Collection and the brand will continue to provide unparalleled experiences to our guests while driving innovation and growth in this exciting sector of the cruise industry,” Bava said.
Prior to Windstar, Bava was the Chief Marketing Officer at AmaWaterways in California. She was also Vice President, Marketing (Americas) from 2016 to 2018 with Silversea Cruises and worked with the CMO on a global marketing restructuring and the successful launch of the new brand campaign to reposition Silversea as a global leader in luxury small ship ocean and expedition cruising.
Before joining Xanterra, O’Rourke was Senior Vice President of Marketing at Royal Caribbean International where she promoted Bava, who was part of her team, to Manager, Direct Marketing & Customer Experience Communications.
“I have been very fortunate to work with great brands, companies, and people and worked closely with Janet Bava during our time at Royal Caribbean International, and I have witnessed first hand her exceptional leadership and strategic vision. I am confident that she is the ideal choice to drive Windstar’s commercial success and help guide the cruise line to new heights,” O’Rourke said.