Essel Group, a multi-faceted business conglomerate, has announced the appointment of industry veteran Jurgen Bailom as President and CEO of the Group’s upcoming cruise line business, Zen Cruises. With his appointment, Essel Group heralds the announcement of India’s premium cruise line with the purchase of its first ship, the Pacific Jewel – a 70,285-ton, 2000 passenger ship from P&O Australia. He will be based in Mumbai. With a career spanning over 30 years in the cruise and hospitality industry, Bailom was President & CEO of Grupo Vidanta Cruises prior to Essel Group. He has also held senior Corporate Director positions within several of Royal Caribbean’s brands such as Sky Seas, TUI and Celebrity Cruises, Island Cruises and most recent as the Chief Operating Officer & Vice President of Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines Pullmantur. He has also been Vice-President of The Maho Group, Sonesta Collection Resorts, Casinos, Spa & Real Estate, to name a few.
Commenting on his appointment, Bailom said, “I’m thrilled to be a part of the Essel Group which has done pioneering work across sectors. India has a 6,632 km long coastline along nine states and two union territories which presents tremendous potential to promote and grow cruise tourism in India. We intend to take the cruise liner experience to a new level for people in India.”