Chicago-based Entertainment Cruises, a member of Pritzker Group Private Capital’s family of companies and the largest dining cruise company in the United States, today announced the appointment of Kenneth Svendsen as its new chief executive officer.
Svendsen, 49, joins Entertainment Cruises following nearly three decades in the entertainment, hospitality and travel industries. Most recently, he served as president of the Walt Disney Travel Company, an affiliate of The Disney Company (NYSE: DIS), one of the country’s largest travel wholesalers, and served as senior vice president of global sales, distribution, and travel operations for Disney Destinations. Additionally, Svendsen led Customer Relationship Management (CRM) for Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, where he focused on one-on-one guest interactions and experiences.
Prior to Disney, Svendsen was senior vice president and global head of sales and reservations for Hilton Worldwide (NYSE: HLT). As the group transitioned from a regional to a global entity, Svendsen oversaw global sales, distribution, regional marketing, reservations, customer service and quality assurance for the Hilton Worldwide’s global hotel portfolio.
“Having led transformative growth at two world-renowned companies, Kenneth is a great example of the energetic, transformative, visionary business leaders with whom we work best,” said J.B. Pritzker, managing partner of Pritzker Group and Chairman of Entertainment Cruises. “His collaborative, results-driven approach will be an excellent fit for Entertainment Cruises’ commitment to creating unforgettable memories for its guests.”
Gregg Kaplan, Pritzker Group Private Capital’s operating partner for services sector investing, will also serve on Entertainment Cruises’ board of directors.
“I am excited to join Entertainment Cruises which delivers a world-class cruise experience with unmatched views of some of our nation’s most beautiful cities,” said Kenneth Svendsen. “I am also pleased to partner with the Pritzkers whose proprietary capital and long term vision allow Entertainment Cruises to continually innovate its service offering providing its customers with exciting and memorable experiences.”