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After four years of leading the launch and growth of Dream Cruises and Crystal Cruises Asia, Thatcher Brown has resigned, citing “personal family reasons.”
Michael Goh, a loyal Genting Hong Kong executive, has succeeded Brown as president of Dream Cruises. Goh has also been named head of international sales for Genting Cruise Lines, which comprises Dream Cruises, Crystal Cruises, and Star Cruises.
Goh’s appointment won’t rock the boat; he worked alongside Brown in positioning Dream Cruises as Asia’s first luxury cruise line, complementing Brown’s expertise in luxury hospitality operations with his sales horsepower and deep connections with the Asian travel trade.
It took Goh 20 years with Genting Hong Kong to rise to the post. He rose from humble beginnings in sales for Star Cruises, to senior vice president of international sales for Dream Cruises, Star Cruises, and Asian sales and marketing for Crystal Cruises before the promotion.
“Michael’s long experience developing the Asian cruise industry with Genting Hong Kong and as a key member in the start-up of Dream Cruises will further strengthen the brand with his appointment as president of Dream Cruises,” said KT Lim, chairman and CEO of Genting Hong Kong.
“With his strong relationships in the travel industry, he will lay the sales and marketing
strategies for the successful arrival of the first of two 204,000 gross ton Global-class ships in 2021.”
While those strategies will be badly needed to fill ships that can each accommodate up to 9,000 passengers due to a concept of multiple berths, what could prove the major challenge for Goh is ensuring Dream will maintain its standards as Asia’s luxury cruise line as capacity rises.
What’s more, it has global ambitions. Currently operating only in Asian waters, in Singapore, Hong Kong, and Tianjin, Dream will start venturing farther to Australia and New Zealand this winter, and beyond Oceania when the two Global-class ships join the fleet.
Brown had paved the way for Dream to be the cruise line for the emerging generation of confident, independent, upwardly mobile Asian travelers since the first ship, Genting Dream, debuted in 2016. This was followed by World Dream in 2017 and Explorer Dream in 2018, or one ship a year.
Dream Cruises aside, as managing director of Crystal Cruises Asia, Brown reenergized the entire sales proposition of Crystal Cruises in Asia. For example, under Brown’s watch, the Asia division introduced Crystal Air, enabling wealthy Asians to fly privately in a plush Boeing 777, then take a Crystal river cruise, ocean cruise, or yacht.
“I am very grateful to have been given the chance to take the leadership of Dream Cruises and, with all my colleagues, create something special, great memories and incredible accomplishments,” he told Skift.
“Michael has really been an integral part of these accomplishments. He is a natural successor,” said Brown.
Goh said in a statement, “When I look back over the past 20 years developing the cruise business with Genting Hong Kong, I am proud of our collective team efforts and the challenges we have overcome along the way. I look forward to this next chapter as president of Dream Cruises and the possibilities that lie ahead.”