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Scenic Group adds to its upper management Ranks with new hires/appointments


Directors of Hotel Ocean, Hotel River and Technical River and Ocean.

BOSTON, MA and VANCOUVER CA – Scenic Group continues to enhance its senior management with the announcement of two new hires and a key appointment. Vitor Alves joins Scenic Group as its Director Hotel Operations - Ocean, Sepp Dendl will oversee the rivers as Director Hotel Operations - River, and Yordan Yordanov has come aboard in the position of Director of Technical River and Ocean Operations. These three senior management positions add to Scenic Group’s global reach and serve to enhance the operations of its state of the art fleet, covering Emerald Cruises, Scenic and Scenic Eclipse. All three report directly to Benny Weidacher, VP of Cruise Operations.

“We are thrilled and very fortunate to have so much talent joining our growing team,” explains Benny Weidacher. “We look forward to their collective expertise expanding our ability to deliver a truly 6-Star experience to our guests.”

Vitor Alves brings nearly 20 years of cruise hotel operations experience to his new position as Scenic Group’s Director Hotel Operations – Ocean. Prior to Scenic, he worked his way through the ranks at Seaborne, ending as the Deputy Director for Hotel/New-Build Expeditions Operations. Vitor’s prior work on the guest experience, employee training and productivity improvements fit well with Scenic Group’s ongoing focus on exceeding expectation of its guests and the development of its crew’s ability to consistently deliver top results. With certificates in Hotel and Hospitality Management from both Cornell University and Tourism Schools Salzburg, Vitor values innovation and how best to use it to improve the guest experiences and making personalized service a top focus on the company’s ocean fleet. One of his top priorities is to develop a new top-notch training program to ensure the never-ending growth of the employees and their ability to deliver at the highest levels. Vitor was born to the water as he hails from Portugal and, always willing to explore beyond the norms, counts scuba and sky-diving as two of his greatest passions, along with his spending as much time with his wife and daughter.

Sepp Dendl joined Scenic Group in 2019 and has been instrumental in raising the guests experience as well as in the decision to bring hotel management for the full fleet in-house. His appointment as Director Hotel Operations – River expands his purview as the company continues its global growth. “As Scenic continues the process of bringing ship management in house, I look forward to working with our crews and ship leaders to ensure the best in service and standards for all of our guests,” offered Sepp. Just a few of the focal points include streamlining the hotel management structure for faster proactive and reactive ability, assuring the variety of the numerous menus correspond with the local foods and wines of the country in which the ships are sailing, making greater use of local vendors and products, and moving the company towards their goal of ecological sustainability through the reduction of plastics, etc. Sepp’s prior experience has been with AIDA Cruises, and Viking River Cruises as well several four- and five-star hotels in Russia and Switzerland. Travel is both his job and his passion as he shares this along with skiing and his love of theater with his wife and two children. 

Yordan Yordanov, who’s passion for engineering began at an early age, has risen up the ranks in his chosen profession, spending the past 10 years leading cruise engineer teams from all over the world with Pullmantur Cruises and Grimaldi Lines. Having first-hand experience in nearly every aspect of engineering puts Yordan in the unique position of being able to speak to and train his Scenic Group team as a peer and leader. He is excited to be part of the team that contributes to the industry-leading designs and technology that has been instrumental in the launch of Scenic Eclipse. Scenic Group’s absorption of its nautical operation in house, gives Yordan the opportunity to expand his skills onto the rivers and work with those crews to continue to present the best ships on the rivers. Yordan’s extensive training outside of specific engineering requirements ranges from training in Marine Environmental Awareness to Safety Training of Crew in Direct Contact with Guests to security and crisis management. His love of travel fits well with his desire to visit as many historical sites as is possible with his family.

Scenic Group has grown over its 35-year history to include award-winning, river and ocean cruises and handcrafted land journeys that take guests to many of the world’s most fascinating destinations covering all 7-continents. Since 2008, Scenic has offered truly all-inclusive luxury river cruises in Europe, SE Asia and Russia on its 15 Scenic Space-Ships and Egypt on a luxury charter. In 2019, Scenic introduced the 228 guest Scenic Eclipse, The World’s First Discovery Yacht. Sister brand Emerald Cruises, parent of Emerald Waterways and the newly formed Emerald Yacht Cruises, has nine branded Star-Ships offering river sailings in Europe and on the Mekong, as well as the chartered river ship along the Volga River in Russia (MS Nizhny Novgorod). In January 2022, the Emerald Azzurra will be the first yacht to launch under the Emerald Yacht Cruises brand - a 100-guest super yacht that will sail the warm waters of the Mediterranean, Adriatic and Red seas.

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