Richard Sasso Bio
Richard E. Sasso, chairman of MSC Cruises North America, has been a popular and well-respected figure in the cruise industry for more than 44 years and involved in the travel industry for 48 years.
After holding key positions at Costa Cruises and Chandris Cruises, Sasso joined the senior management team that launched Celebrity Cruises in 1990. He served as president of that line from 1995 to 2002 and was instrumental in establishing it as a top premium cruise line.
Sasso was named president of MSC Cruises USA in April 2004. Since then, he has effectively positioned MSC Cruises for growth in the North American market and in November 2013, MSC Cruises debuted one of its most dazzling vessels, MSC Divina, to Port Miami. In August 2016, Sasso assumed the role of Chairman of MSC Cruises for North America.
Backed by one of the world’s largest container shipping companies, MSC Cruises has emerged as a fast-rising star, winning multiple industry awards over the years for its world-class entertainment, unique itineraries and authentic international cuisine. MSC Cruises is the largest privately owned cruise line in the world with a fleet of 12 cruise ships. It is also the fastest growing cruise lines in the industry – growing 800 percent in capacity between 2004 and 2014. MSC Cruises is in the midst of a $10.2 billion investment plan which will bring up to 11 new next-generation ships into service between 2017 and 2026.
In 1999, Sasso was named “Cruise Industry Executive of the Year” by a leading travel industry trade magazine. In 2011, he received the coveted “Hall of Fame” recognition from Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) for his many efforts and accomplishments that have led to significant contributions in the growth of cruise vacations. Over the years, he has served as chairman of both CLIA and the Florida-Caribbean Cruise Association (FCCA) as well as chairman of CLIA’s Marketing Committee.
Sasso recently published UnselfishWorld, a book based on his philosophy of encouraging ourselves and others to be the most unselfish individuals we can be.
Sasso lives in Ocean Ridge, Fla., with his wife of 44 years, Carmen.