A new Harber for Hurtigruten

Cruise industry veteran to lead Hurtigruten’s expansion in the world’s largest cruise market

Tromsø, Norway

William Harber

Photo courtesy of Hurtigruten
William Harber, new President for the Americas of Hurtigruten.

Hurtigruten, the world leader in exploration travel, has appointed William Harber as President for the Americas, based in its Seattle regional headquarters. He will relocate from Hong Kong and be responsible for Hurtigruten’s commercial-growth strategy in collaboration with the company’s senior leadership team.

“Building on nearly 125 years of Norwegian polar pioneering know-how and history, Hurtigruten is revolutionizing the global adventure travel industry through new state-of-the-art hybrid expedition vessels and trailblazing itineraries. We are strongly committed to offering the Americas the world’s safest, greenest, and most adventurous expedition voyages. I am confident William Harber is the right person to establish our premium offering as a first choice of adventure travel for the modern American explorer,” said Hurtigruten CEO Daniel Skjeldam.

For Hurtigruten, Harber is charged with driving sales and profitability across the United States, Canada, and Central and South America. He will broaden and deepen key travel agent relationships and open new channels for growth. He’s also tasked with increasing market share by ensuring effective brand positioning and driving sales, marketing, and communication strategies.

“I’m honored Hurtigruten has tapped me for this position and trust the many experiences I’ve gained in Asia and in my career in the cruise industry will serve me well in the role. It’s an exciting opportunity for growth at such an authentic and storied brand,” added Harber. Harber’s successor in Asia-Pacific will be named after a brief transition period.

William Harber has more than 20 years of experience, including 13 in the cruise industry. He was most recently Hurtigruten’s President for China and Asia-Pacific, successfully establishing the company’s regional headquarters and striking a strategic partnership with Fliggy, Alibaba’s travel brand. He has served as Senior Vice President & Managing Director Asia for Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings and as Vice President, Market Development for Carnival Asia. In 2011, Harber was promoted to Vice President, Carnival Corporate Marketing, working globally across their 10 cruise brands. Harber originally joined Carnival’s Miami headquarters in 2004 as a member of the Shared Services team.

Earlier in his career, Harber was a management consultant at A.T. Kearney and Director of Product Marketing for a technology start up. He earned his MBA in Marketing Strategy from Emory University’s Goizueta Business School and graduated from the Georgia Institute of Technology with a bachelor’s degree in Industrial and Systems Engineering.

Harber succeeds Gordon Dirker, who opened Hurtigruten’s Americas headquarters in Seattle and set the groundwork to further expand the brand.

Hurtigruten offers products for the modern adventurer seeking one-of-a-kind experiences in pristine destinations. The largest player in both Poles, its voyages include Norway, Iceland, Greenland, Svalbard, Arctic Canada, and the Northwest Passage, as well as South America and Antarctica. The Hurtigruten fleet consists of 14 expedition ships. Two new ships, the MS Roald Amundsen and the MS Fridtjof Nansen, are to be delivered in 2018 and 2019. They will be the world’s first hybrid battery-powered cruise ships. More info: www.hurtigruten.us.

This article originally appeared in the Dec. 29, 2017, issue of The Norwegian American. To subscribe, visit SUBSCRIBE or call us at (206) 784-4617.

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The Norwegian American is North America's oldest and only Norwegian newspaper, published since May 17, 1889.