Effective immediately, John Richards will work closely with founder and chairman Gene Meehan and the development team to introduce a “new, distinctive cruise industry niche”.
The line will be fully dedicated to sports and wellness.
As chief marketing officer for Royal Viking Line “in the early years of cruising”, Richards is described as having helped “execute the resurgence and successful turnaround of the global luxury cruise brand”.
Meehan said: “We are intentionally trying to break some of the rules of traditional cruising, and for that reason, we have been looking for a CEO who will help us see and implement things differently.
“John’s track-record for growing companies into category leaders makes him the ideal person to lead Blue World Voyages as we enter the global marketplace.
“We are confident that with John onboard, we will achieve our goal of expanding to a three-ship operation within five years and in doing so create a new specialty market for active lifestyle cruising.”
With the first 350-passenger, 5-Star ship scheduled to launch in 2018, Meehan plans to have a second and third ship in the water by 2022.
The company will evaluate ports of call based on the availability of outdoor activities such as cycling, hiking, golf and watersports, access to areas conducive to yoga and meditation, and cultural and learning opportunities.