Entertainment Cruises names Svendsen CEO

Entertainment Cruises, a portfolio company of Pritzker Group Private Capital, said Wednesday it named Kenneth Svendsen its CEO. Most recently, Svendsen served as president of the Walt Disney Travel Company.


January 06, 2016 06:00 AM Eastern Standard Time

CHICAGO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–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.”

About Entertainment Cruises

Entertainment Cruises is the largest dining cruise company in the United States. Headquartered in Chicago, Entertainment Cruises now serves 1.5 million guests annually with a fleet of 30 ships in cities that include Baltimore; Boston; Chicago; National Harbor, MD; Norfolk, VA; Philadelphia; New York; Fort Lauderdale; Miami; Boca Raton; Palm Beach; and Washington, D.C. From luxury dining cruises and skyline tours to speedboat excursions, Entertainment Cruises maintains an impressive portfolio of vessels and brands which includes Odyssey Cruises, Spirit Cruises, Mystic Blue Cruises, Bateaux New York, Seadog Cruises, Elite Private Yachts, and Windridge Yacht Charters. The brands are collectively defined by operational excellence, superior service, quality entertainment, exceptional views and an unwavering commitment to delivering high-value, high-enjoyment experiences. For more information or to inquire about reservations, visit entertainmentcruises.com.

About Pritzker Group

Pritzker Group, led by Tony and J.B. Pritzker, has three principal investment teams: Private Capital, which acquires and operates leading North America-based companies; Venture Capital, which provides early-stage and growth venture funding to technology companies throughout the United States; and Asset Management, which partners with top-performing investment managers across global public markets.

Pritzker Group Private Capital acquires North America-based middle-market companies with leading positions in the manufactured products, services and health care sectors. The firm’s permanent, proprietary capital base allows for efficient decision making, broad flexibility with transaction structure and investment horizon, and alignment with management teams focused on creating long-term value. Pritzker Group brings significant resources, expertise and credibility in building businesses and is an ideal partner for entrepreneur- and family-owned companies. For more information, visit pritzkergroup.com.