Holland America Line president Orlando Ashford is to leave the business at the end of May.

He is the second boss of a Carnival Corporation brand to announce their departure in less than a day following the retirement of Rick Meadows from HAL sister line Seabourn.

Ashford has been president of 14-ship HAL since November 2014 and he leaves as the global cruise industry is shut down due to the impact of Covid-19 on global destinations.

He has recently guided the company through an unprecedented pause in global cruise operations that have been extended through the line’s planned 2020 Alaska, Europe and Canada/New England sailing seasons. No details of a successor have been disclosed.

Ashford said: “Today, a global pandemic has impacted our industry in ways that are completely unprecedented.

“However, I believe it is human nature to travel and explore new places and cultures and meet new people.

“I have no doubt that Holland America Line will thrive again soon, and its guests will be ready when cruise operations resume. I look forward to being one of the first to sail.”

Ashford was credited with leading a rejuvenation of the brand, which carries 900,000 passengers a year, through an emphasis on enhanced on board entertainment, live music and culinary experiences.

He oversaw sales and marketing, revenue management, deployment and itinerary planning, public relations, hotel operations and strategy.

Stein Kruse, group chief executive of Holland America Group and Carnival UK, said: “Orlando has made a substantial contribution to Holland America Line during his tenure, bringing a renewed energy to the premium cruise line that was recognized with many awards and accolades.

“His unique background as an innovator and global leader in human resources was highly respected in our organisation and his dynamism will be greatly missed.”

Ashford was previously president of the talent business segment for Mercer, a global consulting leader in talent, health, retirement and investments, and has also worked for Coca-Cola, Motorola, Ameritech and Andersen Consulting.

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