If you’ve ever had dinner on the Georgetown waterfront or driven along Rock Creek Parkway as it winds past the Kennedy Center along the Potomac River, you’ve undoubtedly seen one of the beautiful and elegant boats operated by Entertainment Cruises out on the water. And, while you may have marveled at these incredible vessels, you may not have realized that the company operating them is one of the preeminent entertainment companies in the nation’s capital, with an individual at the helm with a key eye for corporate growth and a skillset honed at Disney.
The captain piloting Entertainment Cruises towards success is Kenneth Svendsen, who joined the company as its Chief Executive Officer in January 2016. And it’s very clear why he was a great choice to lead the organization.
Mr. Svendsen has a long and successful track record of growing travel and entertainment companies. Prior to coming aboard at Entertainment Cruises, he served as the President of Walt Disney Travel Company and Senior Vice President of Global Sales for Disney Destinations. In these roles, he oversaw the entire global portfolio of vacation destinations and products around the world, such as Disneyland Resort, Walt Disney World Resort, Disneyland Paris, Hong Kong Disneyland Resort and Disney Cruise Line.
The time spent working with “The Mouse” prepared Mr. Svendsen to navigate Entertainment Cruises to new heights. Since taking the wheel, he has grown Entertainment Cruises into the nation’s premier provider of water-based dining, sightseeing and transportation experiences. Today, the company operates 48 vessels and delivers more than 18,000 cruises to 2.3 million guests annually.
With a focus on customer experience and guest engagement, Mr. Svendsen has introduced leading-edge technology and fleet innovations, as well as enhanced core onboard products to transform and deliver best-in-class guest experiences in the cities they operate. This focus on innovation and the customer has been integral in the company’s success and has enabled it to expand aggressively through a combination of organic growth and acquisitions.
In 2016, Entertainment Cruises purchased Potomac Riverboat Company, expanding the company’s fleet in the nation’s capital. The company then expanded its Potomac Water Taxi service in 2017 with the addition of four new, high speed, low wake vessels. In 2018, the company went international and entered the Toronto market through the acquisition of Mariposa Cruises. Then, just last year, the company launched Odyssey Chicago River to expand their reach into another important U.S. market.
Mr. Svendsen has been instrumental in driving Entertainment Cruises’ incredible growth and success. On Friday, April 26, he’ll bring the business best practices and lessons he’s learned during his time at Entertainment Cruises and Disney to the ACG National Capital membership and their guests when he speaks at the chapter’s April Monthly Meeting.
For additional information and to register for the April Monthly Meeting, click HERE.