Explora Journeys expands leadership team

Explora Journeys expands leadership team

Norbert Stiekema and Vanessa Vollmann have joined as chief commercial officer and head of people

Explora Journeys has expanded its leadership team with two new appointments.

Norbert Stiekema has taken on the role of chief commercial officer, responsible for all business-related aspects of the brand and supporting the launch of the operations of Explora I.

Stiekema has more than 30 years of industry experience working across a range of leadership roles in Europe and the Middle East where he most recently worked for Cruise Saudi as chief sales and marketing officer.


He previously spent eight years working at Costa Cruises as the line’s chief digital and strategy officer, and prior to that he worked as vice-president of sales and distribution EMEA for the Walt Disney Company.

Vanessa Vollmann has been appointed head of people and is responsible for all human resources at the brand’s headquarters in Geneva. She previously held HR roles at Roger Dubuis, Procter and Gamble and Tag Heuer.

Both Stiekema and Vollman will report to Michael Ungerer, chief executive of Explora Journeys.

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The line’s first ship, Explora I, will take its maiden voyage from Southampton on 17 July 2023.

Ungerer said: “As we gear up for the launch of our first vessel later this year and the subsequent launch of our entire fleet of six vessels in a five-year window, we need the best team to allow our brand to achieve its potential in the luxury cruise segment.

“I'm pleased to have two professionals with extensive experience in hospitality and travel and in high-end luxury consumer goods joining our leadership team at this juncture in our journey. They have joined at the start of an organic growth trajectory the likes of which has never been seen before in our segment."

For more information, visit and bookmark Explora Journeys in the Connecting Travel Cruise Hub

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