The Columbia Group is propelling its involvement in the leisure and lifestyle markets to the next level by combining its various business lines and brands in the Super Yacht and Cruise sectors under one holding entity called COLUMBIA blue.
While the existing business lines and specialised offerings of Swiss Ocean and Columbia Cruise Services (CCS) will be maintained and further developed, COLUMBIA blue will offer a diverse portfolio of services within the leisure, lifestyle, cruise, super yacht, aviation, and hospitality sectors.
Asset management, concierge, events, aircraft management together with hospitality training will complement the portfolio providing clients with a 360° turnkey service solution of the highest quality.
COLUMBIA blue will be overseen by Managing Directors Olaf Groeger and Norman Schmiedl and will draw on the resources of the wider Columbia Group, in particular its state-of-the-art Performance Optimisation Control Room as well as additional cutting-edge digital solutions.
A project-based approach, cutting across business lines and silos, will accelerate the supply of specifically-tailored solutions to this important market.
“By adopting a project-based approach and harnessing the existing in-house expertise and specialisations within the Columbia Group, COLUMBIA blue will be able to deliver to our clients, an individual and tailored service of the highest quality, and on projects which would not otherwise, have found a natural home within pre-existing business lines,” said Columbia Group President and CEO Mark O’Neil.
He added: “We will deploy our expertise in a dynamic, flexible and fluid manner. There will be no lifestyle and leisure project which cannot be considered and then delivered to the highest quality standard.
“COLUMBIA blue will be one of the main driving forces for change in the leisure, lifestyle and asset management sectors and will set new standards in performance efficiency, state-of-the-art technology, sustainability and customised service delivery.”
Olaf Groeger emphasised that Columbia was now moving in a new and exciting direction with its leisure and lifestyle brand COLUMBIA blue. “The Leisure Group enables us to merge proficiencies and resources so we can constantly improve the quality of our services and expand the service portfolio for our clients,” he said.
Norman Schmiedl added: “The importance of our brands CCS and Swiss Ocean remains paramount. So, for our cruise and super yacht clients it will remain ‘business as usual’ as they continue to be served by the same dedicated client-facing teams: only now we will be able to offer them so many more tailored solutions from across the Columbia Group.”
Mr Groeger and Mr Schmiedl will be supported in their work by Swiss Ocean Managing Director Christophe Ceard, as well as CCS Managing Directors Ralf Koelpin and Claudia Gummert-Koch. Julia Siebert, Andre Bloemendaal and Alexander Lisnychy have also been promoted to Vice-Presidents within the Group.
Mr Schmiedl continued: “Besides the permanent endeavour of striving for improvements for our existing clients and current areas of expertise, COLUMBIA blue offers a platform for novel projects and business development. It enables us to approach projects with a more fluid approach. A cruise project might benefit from involving yacht expertise while a private client may appreciate the services for his diverse assets be they a yacht, plane or a private residence. Whatever the case, COLUMBIA blue will be able to offer a one-stop turnkey solution.
“A yacht owner might appreciate our holistic service approach that includes our aviation services or value the option to rent a private residence. By embracing all our leisure activities under one umbrella company, we can apply a fluid approach without diluting the strengths of our individual brands,” he concluded.