Lars Ljoen to Become Chief Maritime Officer of Carnival Corp.

Lars Ljoen

Carnival Corporation today announced that Vice Admiral William R. Burke (Ret.), Chief Maritime Officer for the company, has advised the company that he will be stepping down from the role effective February 1, 2025, according to a press release.

At that time, Lars Ljoen, currently Chief Operations Officer for the company’s flagship Carnival Cruise Line brand, will be promoted to Chief Maritime Officer of Carnival Corp. overseeing all aspects of maritime operations for the corporation and reporting to Carnival Corporation Chief Executive Officer Josh Weinstein.

Ljoen will also be responsible for strategic destination development and will oversee management of the company’s owned and operated ports.

A 25-year cruise industry veteran, Carnival said Ljoen is a trusted leader with a distinguished tenure of achievement in senior-level sea command and shore management roles. As Chief Operations Officer for Carnival Cruise Line, Ljoen oversees all aspects of Carnival’s marine operations, including nautical and technical operations, environmental compliance, and safety protocols. He also leads port operations, guest operations, food and beverage services, onboard revenue, entertainment, and crew and travel operations.

“Lars is the obvious choice for this vital role, given his deep knowledge of our industry, his pedigree of success in key senior-level positions in the company, and his ability to consistently deliver operational excellence and business results for our largest global cruise line,” said Josh Weinstein, Carnival Corporation & plc’s Chief Executive Officer. “Notably, his leadership during one of the most challenging times in our industry helped Carnival Cruise Line successfully navigate the operational pause and quickly reclaim its title as the world’s largest and most popular cruise line – an important driver of our company comeback.

“As we remain laser focused on achieving our carbon and emissions reductions goals and maintaining our leadership in safety and environmental best practices, Lars will bring his tremendous knowledge to build upon the legacy that Bill has established during his tenure,” he said.

Prior to Carnival Cruise Line, Ljoen served with Carnival Corporation’s Costa Group since 2015, initially as senior vice president and then promoted to executive vice president and managing director in 2016. At Costa Group, which at the time included Costa Cruises and AIDA, Ljoen was responsible for Carnival Maritime, the marine service unit of the group, as well as fleet governance, marine projects, and continuous improvement.

Previously Ljoen headed business strategy development for Ceres Marine Terminals (NYK Ports) and was director of marine operations at Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. He began his career on supply vessels and shuttle tankers in the North Sea offshore industry.

“I’m honored to step into the Chief Maritime Officer role and eager to build on Bill’s remarkable foundation of operational excellence and write the next important chapter,” said Ljoen. “I look forward to applying my experience and skills to an even bigger platform to ensure the company’s continued success.”

When Ljoen takes the helm as Chief Maritime Officer February 1, 2025, his predecessor, Burke, will transition into a new role as External Affairs Advisor for Carnival Corporation, leveraging his extensive expertise for key legislative, regulatory and policy matters at the global and federal levels, the company said in a statement.

Since joining Carnival Corporation in 2013 in the newly created position of Chief Maritime Officer, Burke has drawn on his extensive background and record in safety, engineering, strategic planning, and operational readiness to define and drive the company’s commitment to health, environmental compliance, safety, security, and sustainability. Overseeing the company’s maritime operations around the world, Burke has reshaped the company’s maritime policy, maritime standards, shipbuilding, training including CSMART, medical, maritime asset strategy, and technical research and development.

Burke joined Carnival Corporation following a distinguished career with the U.S. Navy spanning submarine command, squadron leadership, task force command, strategic planning, and operational readiness positions. Burke served on five submarines including command of the USS Toledo (SSN 769), and he also commanded Submarine Squadron Two. His admiral assignments included tours as Commander Logistics Group Western Pacific/Navy Region Singapore/Task Force 73, Director Assessment Division, Director Quadrennial Defense Review, Deputy Chief of Naval Operations for Fleet Readiness and Logistics, and Deputy Chief of Naval Operations for Warfare Systems.

“I have worked alongside Bill for over a decade, and there is no one I admire more. A lifelong champion of progress, Bill has been at the forefront of revolutionizing cruise operations and our company’s revitalized commitment to compliance, excellence in protecting the health, safety and security of our team members and guests, and safeguarding the environment,” said Weinstein. “His leadership in safety, innovation, and sustainability has been instrumental in elevating both our company and the industry as a whole. While Bill will wrap up his formal involvement in our daily operations, we’re thrilled he has agreed to stay with the company as External Affairs Advisor, where his advocacy, knowledge, relationships, and leadership will continue to have a global impact.”

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