Celestyal, the award-winning, number one choice for travelers to the Greek Islands and the Eastern Mediterranean, has announced the appointment of Lee Haslett to take on the role of global chief commercial officer (CCO) as of February 20, 2023. Haslett takes over from Leslie Peden, who has been with the company for more than five years, initially as vice president, North America and thereafter serving as the company’s CCO. At the same time, Celestyal is strengthening its sales department in Greece by appointing Mr. Charis Broussalian as business development manager.
Haslett is a highly experienced travel executive, having had a wide range of experience with tour operations and airlines. He joins Celestyal from Virgin, where he joined the Virgin Holidays team in 2008 leading the company’s holidays retail expansion before holding various roles across the business including head of retail and vice president, product and distribution. Most recently, Lee has been vice president global sales for Virgin Atlantic, where he led the sales transformation plan, focused on key North American and European markets, and has played an important role in the company’s commercial leadership team. Haslett will report to Chris Theophilides, Celestyal’s CEO, and will be based in the U.K. but will also share his time amongst the US, the main European markets and Greece.
“As we pivot Celestyal to reinforce our brand proposition of destination-rich, immersive travel experiences, we continue to develop our commercial team to meet new challenges,” said Chris Theophilides. “I would like to extend my thanks and gratitude to Leslie for his significant contributions to position Celestyal for future success. He has been an integral part of the company’s senior leadership and we wholeheartedly wish him all the best in his new endeavors.”
“I’m delighted to announce Lee’s appointment and welcome him to Celestyal. Lee joins Celestyal at an exciting time, as we intensify our efforts and invest in substantially broadening Celestyal’s presence in key markets. Fresh on the heels of Celestyal significantly growing its trade facing commercial team, Lee will oversee a global team of over 60 travel professionals covering the whole spectrum of Celestyal’s commercial activities including sales, strategic business development, marketing, commercial PR functions, contact centers as well as revenue management. We are also very pleased to add Charis Broussalian to our sales team in Greece, whose experience will be adding value to our efforts towards the expansion of our network in the Greek market. We look forward to making additional exciting announcements in the near future, as we continue our journey of strengthening Celestyal’s position as the leading provider of the award-winning, multi-destination vacation experiences in Greece and the Eastern Mediterranean that the company has fast become known for,” added Theophilides.
Broussalian will report to Vassilis Karachalios, Country Manager, Sales Greece and will be responsible for developing Celestyal’s footprint in Southern Greece, as well as continuing to establish relationships with destination management companies (DMCs). Prior to joining Celestyal, he served as business development and marketing director at Best Western Hotel & Resorts in Greece, and previously at Booking.com as global accounts manager. Broussalian also spent a number of years within the hotel industry in Austria, Germany and Switzerland. He also worked for several years at GTP (“Greek Travel Pages”, a tourism guide of Greece) as sales and marketing manager. Broussalian studied Hotel Management at the University of Portsmouth, U.K., and in addition to his being a native Greek speaker, he speaks English and German fluently.
Celestyal has fast built an award-winning reputation and recognition as the number one choice for travellers to the Greek Islands and East Mediterranean thanks to its regional expertise and exceptional hospitality. The company operates two vessels, each one intimate enough to provide guests with a genuine and highly personalised experience. The foundation of the company’s philosophy is built on a unique Greek heritage which combines outstanding hospitality with genuine cultural destination immersion and provides authentic, lifetime experiences both onboard and onshore.
Health & Safety
At Celestyal, our main priorities are compliance, environmental protection and the health, safety and well-being of our guests, crew and the communities we visit. As a member of Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA), we have pledged our commitment to adopt mandatory core elements of enhanced health protocols as part of a phased-in resumption of cruise operations.
Informed by leading scientists, medical experts, European and Hellenic health authorities, these protocols apply to the entire cruise experience. Our Health and safety measures will be continuously evaluated and adjusted based on the current evolution of the COVID-19 pandemic in Europe as well as the availability of new prevention, therapeutics, and mitigation measures.
Since 2014, Celestyal has received top honors in the Tourism Awards, one of the largest and most prestigious awards programs within the Greek tourism industry. These include 1 Platinum, 14 Gold, 9 Silver and 7 Bronze awards covering Guest Experience Excellence, Solo Travel, CSR Initiatives and Contribution to National Economy.
In December 2022, Celestyal won a Bronze Award at the British Travel Awards in the ‘‘Best Operator for Mini Cruises’’ category and was named one of the top ocean cruise lines for ‘’Best Service’’ at the annual Cruise Critic Editors’ Picks Awards 2022, an award also received in 2018 and 2019. In February 2018 Celestyal received four Cruise Critic Cruisers’ Choice Awards -two first place awards for Shore Excursions and Value, and two second place awards for Service and Entertainment.
In 2019 and 2020, Celestyal was recognized for its overall contribution and commitment to the development of the cruise industry in the Eastern Mediterranean region at the MedCruise Awards.
Celestyal is deeply committed to sustainability and ethical business practices. The company actively supports the local communities in the destinations it visits, particularly in the field of education. Additionally, Celestyal supports cultural NGOs to promote youth entrepreneurship, marine student development and child welfare.
The entire spectrum of Celestyal’s ship management, including technical, hotel and crew management, and offices, are certified in accordance with ISO 9001/14001 standards. The certifying authority is DNV, which is by widely recognized as the biggest and most respected rating agency in the marine industry.