Exclusive with Silversea MD Adam Armstrong: “Growth is my middle name”

Exclusive with Silversea MD Adam Armstrong: “Growth is my middle name”

Silversea’s recently appointed Australia and New Zealand boss has declared that making the local market the second largest globally is among his chief goals.

“My own personal objective is to make Australia the second largest market at Silversea. We’re currently number three, narrowly behind the UK,” Armstrong exclusively told Travel Weekly.

Armstrong is just a week into his role in Australia, having previously spent five weeks in the cruise line’s Monaco HQ as well as brief stints in Miami and the UK.

His arrival at the helm of Silversea comes after a glittering 10 year career at Royal Caribbean, where he steadily rose through the ranks, ultimately holding the role of managing director ANZ.

Royal Caribbean, of course, took majority ownership of Silversea in June, buying up a 67% stake and Armstrong admits his sudden arrival as its local supremo raised a few eyebrows.

“Yes, my arrival at Silversea from Royal [Caribbean], the conspiracy theorists will say seemed more than a coincidence, I know, but in truth I had decided to do something else last year. I’d served my notice from Royal Caribbean and I wasn’t even sure I’d stay in the cruise industry to be honest.

Silversea_Silver-Muse-702x405

“But Silversea is such a fantastic brand; one I’d looked on from afar with admiration. There’s so much opportunity for Silversea with the Australian market. Australians are great travellers, they’re affluent, prosperous, economically stable and politically stable. Well, mostly,” he says with a chuckle.

“It’s the perfect chemistry.”

Armstrong is also keen to assure the Australian market that, under new management, Silversea won’t compromise on the things that have made it successful in the past.

“Silversea product [under RCL] will stay the same and indeed will continue to improve. In fact, Royal have opened up additional funding in both software and hardware. The food and beverage standards will lift even higher, with new champagne and caviar options. In terms of hardware, we’ve recently invested in lengthening dry docks, for instance.”

He also has a familiar but encouraging message for the Australian retail trade. “Personally the biggest lesson, or key takeaway from my years in the cruise industry – from when we first opened the RCL office – was the importance of the trade. They are our ambassadors.

“Having a good product is obviously key, but, aside from close engagement with the trade, in this game how you deploy your ships is crucial – everything else will be a struggle if you don’t get this component right.

“You also need to surround yourself with good people, the right team, and people who are up for the challenge, and are motivated by growth. Growth is my middle name.”

silversea

Armstrong explained that he will look to be bold in his leadership of Silversea locally.

“You need to set aggressive targets and deliver on these – I’ve found that if you deliver on these you are allowed to go for more and are given more latitude to do things by head office.”

“Luxury cruise represents 2% of the market, but there’s huge potential, even if we became 3% of the total it’d be big for us.

“The question we are asking terms of growth is, ‘where do we find these guests who haven’t cruised with us before?’ We know there are people cruising on bigger ships who pay a premium. There are also a lot of land-based European travellers we want to get cruising. Why not add a 10-night cruise to a land holiday? That will be our pitch.”

And when asked who he thought was an organisation doing good things for the industry, Armstrong had a surprising response.

“Virgin entering the cruise market is an interesting development. They are helping to break down the misconceptions about cruising and potentially bringing a new audience to the market. They’ve always employed interesting PR and marketing strategies. They’re an interesting brand to watch,” he concluded.

 

Latest News

  • Tourism

Tour Guides Australia backs Queensland Government Department of Tourism’s $2 million business capability subsidy

Tour Guides Australia has offered its full support for the Queensland Government Department of Tourism and Sport’s $2 million Tourism Business Capability Subsidy. The subsidy program is designed to boost the growth of Queensland’s tourism industry, offering up to $2,000 per eligible business to undertake targeted training and accreditation programs. “It is a significant opportunity […]

  • Tourism

Club Med Musandam is newest addition to the resort group and a first for the Middle East

Club Med has announced the newest addition to its Exclusive Collection portfolio with the opening of Club Med Musandam, the first Club Med resort in the Middle East. Set to be unveiled in 2028, the development of Club Med Musandam marks a significant investment milestone, surpassing the $100 million mark. A ground-breaking development as a […]

  • Luxury
  • Products

Louis Vuitton champions travel in campaign featuring Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal

Louis Vuitton has relaunched its iconic Core Values Campaign with a new chapter that sees tennis champions Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal. Shot by industry legend Annie Leibovitz, the campaign features the tennis icons summiting a mountain together in the Dolomites of Italy with the tagline ‘There are Journeys that turn into Legends’. Together, they […]

  • Aviation

Garuda and Singapore Airlines to offer reciprocal benefits to frequent flyers, plus explore revenue sharing arrangements

Garuda Indonesia and Singapore Airlines will deepen their commercial partnership and offer reciprocal benefits to their frequent flyer program members, plus explore revenue sharing arrangements for flights between Indonesia and Singapore, subject to regulatory approvals.  The frequent flyer program agreement was signed by Garuda Indonesia CEO Irfan Setiaputra and SIA CEO Goh Choon Phong in […]

  • Hotels

My Fiji announce an exclusive deal with new Crowne Plaza Fiji Nadi Bay Resort & Spa

My Fiji have announced an exclusive deal with the new Crowne Plaza Fiji Nadi Bay Resort & Spa, Fiji’s newest premium resort experience, offering exclusive packages for a limited time. Situated along the shores of Wailoaloa Beach, the resort offers 324 modern rooms, immersive amenities and world-renowned Fijian hospitality, Crowne Plaza Fiji Nadi Bay Resort […]

  • Cruise

Sydney Swans greats announced for Crown Princess cruise

Princess Cruises has partnered with the Sydney Swans to offer fans the first-ever AFL Member cruise aboard Crown Princess. This four-night voyage to Tasmania departs January 25, 2025 and guests will be able to immerse themselves in a once-in-a-lifetime Sydney Swans experience featuring special events and activities dedicated to fans. The cruise will feature Sydney […]

  • Destinations

Listening to whales, followed by Ales and Prawn Tails on the Sunshine Coast

Queensland’s Sunshine Coast is preparing to welcome more than 40,000 humpback whales that are making their way up the Australian east coast on their annual migration. The Sunshine Coast is one of Australia’s premier whale tourism destinations, built on its long-established whale watching cruises and Sunreef’s pioneering Swim with Whales experience, which celebrates its 10th […]

  • Aviation
  • Travel Agents

Webjet relaunches partnership with AirAsia with a huge Asia flights sale

Online travel agency Webjet has have relaunched their partnership with AirAsia with a huge Asia flights sale, available until 2 June. To give customers a greater breadth of choice and price point, hundreds of new flight options to Aussie favourite destinations have been added, including Bali, Kuala Lumpur and Bangkok via AirAsia, AirAsiaX, Thai AirAsia […]

  • Luxury

Why luxury clients are opting for immersive experiences over material items

The Luxury Travel Collection’s (LTC) inaugural business owners Soiree took place on Hayman Island last week. The event saw luxury leaders gathering to find out more about the key trends shaping the industry. The Immersion Day, held on Thursday 16 May 2024, followed the growing luxury client trend of valuing immersive experiences over material items. […]

  • Conferences

Empowering underserved communities: Expedia Group’s drive for more inclusive travel

Expedia Group has used the EXPLORE conference at the Aria Resort in Las Vegas to highlight initiatives that empower underserved communities worldwide.   In a groundbreaking move towards fostering diversity and inclusion within the travel industry, Expedia’s Global Social Impact and Sustainability Team is dedicated to shaping a travel landscape that is safe, welcoming, and accessible […]

  • Cruise

P&O rescues Rotary volunteers after collapse of Air Vanuatu

P&O Cruises Australia has answered a plea for help from a group of young Australian Rotary volunteers, stranded in Vanuatu following the collapse of Air Vanuatu. The students, many of them teenagers from Albury, NSW, were volunteering for a youth project run by the Hive Rotary Club Australia when the airline abruptly cancelled all flights, […]

  • Destinations

Intrepid continues expansions with launch of first DMC in Jordan

Intrepid has increased its presence in the Middle East with the opening of its first destination management company in Jordan. Based in Amman, the local team will operate Intrepid’s range of nine experiential small group tours in Jordan from this summer, with a view to expanding the range for 2025 and beyond. Zina Bencheikh, managing […]

  • Appointments

Minor hotels appoints Puneet Dhawan to key Asia role

Global hotel owner and operator Minor Hotels has appointed Puneet Dhawan as head of Asia as the group plots its growth in Asia and India. From July, Dhawan will be responsible for the performance of all Minor Hotels properties in Asia, working in close collaboration with the Minor Hotels senior leadership team and will report […]

  • Appointments

Abercrombie & Kent and Crystal appoint Evon Ler to director of sales, Asia

Abercrombie & Kent Travel Group have announced that Evon Ler will join them in the new role of director of sales, Asia. She will work closely with Tony Archbold (VP, Sales, APAC, Crystal) and Susan Haberle (VP, Sales & Partnerships, APAC, A&K) with trade support across the region. Ler comes to the A&K family with more […]