Larry Pimentel is president and CEO of Azamara, a member of the Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. family of cruise lines. Since taking the helm in 2009, he and his team have created a new niche of cruise travel distinguished by Destination Immersion – meaning longer stays, more overnights and night touring, with cultural connections. This innovative direction has resulted in placing Azamara in a very profitable position. Since the launch of Destination Immersion Azamara has grown its revenue by over 70 percent per ship, has seen an average of 69 percent increase in tariffs and has tripled repeat business. Recently under Pimentel’s direction, Azamara debuted the largest selection of pre-and-post-voyage land programs in the cruising industry, reinforcing its commitment to Destination Immersion beyond cruising.
Over a three-decade career, Pimentel has built successful cruise lines and brands while accumulating a unique body of knowledge about affluent travelers and the experiences that appeal to them. Before joining Azamara, he was president/CEO and co-owner of SeaDream Yacht Club. At Carnival Corp. he served as president and CEO of Seabourn Cruise Line and Cunard Line, and was previously president and CEO of Classic Hawaii.
His keen insights about the travel marketplace and luxury tastes and trends have made Pimentel an in-demand speaker, writer and educator. He was Distinguished Lecturer at Cornell’s School of Hotel Administration and has led marketing seminars for Harvard Business School, Ritz-Carlton Company, Bloomberg and others. He was a founding member of The Luxury Marketing Council in New York, and also has been influential as director and chairman of major travel industry associations, including USTOA (United States Tour Operators Association) and ICTA (Institute of Certified Travel Agents).
The cruise brands under Pimentel’s leadership have won dozens of “best in class” awards from discerning travelers. At Azamara, the up-market, 690-guest Azamara Journey, Azamara Quest and Azamara Pursuit have been recognized with best in class, best service, best overall experience and other awards from Travel + Leisure, Conde Nast Traveler and Cruise Critic’s Cruisers’ Choice Awards. The company also has won top honors from the UK Cruise Critic Cruisers’ Choice Awards, including best overall, best dining, best service, best value-for-money and more.
As one of the travel industry’s most respected leaders in branding and luxury travel, Pimentel has been honored with a Lifetime Achievement award from Cruise International and received an AFAR Travel Vanguard award for his visionary creation of Destination Immersion and contribution to the future of travel. Pimentel was also recognized as “one of the 25 most influential travel executives in America” and won “global executive of the year” at World Travel Mart.