Cruise & Ferry Review - Spring/Summer 2022

1 9 0 Guests onboard Romantika will have several options for meals, including à-la-carte restaurants INTERV IEW Delivering high standards of service Julia Siebert discusses the origins of Columbia Signature and what it will offer cruise guests onboard Romantika Earlier this year, Columbia Signature, a new hospitality and catering company created by Columbia Blue – The Leisure Group, was appointed as hotel manager of Romantika, a ro-pax ferry operated by Holland Norway Lines (HNL). Julia Siebert, who originally founded Columbia Cruise Services’ hotel department in 2017 with the goal of offering full management to the cruise industry, was made general manager of Columbia Signature when the venture was launched in autumn 2021. “The whole industry was hit by the pandemic, and during that time, we founded Columbia Blue, the leisure group,” she says. “We had lots of companies all doing leisure but not working together, so we collated them within the Columbia Blue umbrella.” Columbia Signature is one of the companies operating under Columbia Blue and will work across multiple industries, however, its expertise will inevitably draw it to cruising. “The cruise industry has the highest standards when it comes to public health, food safety and service,” says Siebert. “And we are in a good position to bring our excellent service standards we achieved on cruise operations to guests across several industries.” Guests onboard the 700-cabin Romantika, which sails directly between the Netherlands and Norway, will be able to enjoy a buffet eatery, à-la-carte restaurants, a night club, and more – all managed by Columbia Signature. “The appointment by Holland Norway Lines is amazing,” says Siebert. “It’s refreshing to work with entrepreneurs from different branches, with a new approach, and aligning with HNL’s goal of achieving zero emissions by 2026.” CFR “ The cruise industry has the highest standards when it comes to public health, food safety and service” Photo: AS Tallink Grupp