Crystal has announced the appointment of seasoned cruise and luxury hospitality industry executive Karl Muhlberger as its new chief operating officer.
Muhlberger will be responsible for overseeing facets of Crystal’s expanding fleet, including hotel services, entertainment, food and beverage operations, concessions, technical services, reservations, and guest relations for the lines’ existing experiences and those in development.
A native of Austria, Muhlberger began his careers at age 15 as a culinary apprentice in Salzburg and went on to become the first and youngest Austrian chef to receive a Michelin Star and 17 points from the famed Gault & Millau at age 23.
He also held prominent chef positions at other Michelin and Gault & Millau-rated restaurants, including the five-star Relais & Château Hotel in Belgium and Austria.
From this foundation, he led the culinary departments for Cunard and Seabourn, and held executive chef positions aboard Seabourn and Silversea Cruises.
This leadership carried him to Norwegian Cruise Line, first as vice president of food and beverage operations, and then to VP of hotel operations for the company’s 17 vessels.
In his new role, Muhlberger will report directly to Crystal president and CEO Tom Wolber, and will be based at the company’s Miami headquarters.
“I am delighted to welcome Karl to the Crystal family at a particularly exciting time for our company, as his esteemed career in luxury travel and expertise in launching new ships and programs for global travellers will be great assets to our teams ashore and on board as we navigate new waters,” Wolber said.
“His beginnings in the culinary industry helped create a spirit of welcoming hospitality, which is integral to our guests’ experience, while his experience spearheading company and fleet expansions brings important perspective to Crystal’s position in the market.”
Commenting on his appointment, Muhlberger said: “Crystal represents the pinnacle of luxury in the cruise industry, and to join a company so dedicated to this exceptional standard is an honour.
“I am happy to lead these teams as we move into the next chapter for Crystal and welcome the challenge of finding ways to enhance what is already the very best in our business.”