Meet the team

  • R & D

The Damen Cruise core global sales and marketing team is located in the Port of Rotterdam but with a global reach.

The team is fully dedicated to the cruise market and the customer journey of cruise accounts striving to provide them with long term solutions.

The Damen Cruise sales team is responsible for the marketing activities, cruise key accounts management and for the sales of newbuild ocean/coastal cruise ships and maintenance and upgrade services (powered by Damen Shiprepair & Conversion).

SVP Sales and Marketing Damen Cruise

From a young age Andrea has been passionate about the cruise industry. He started his career as a Master Mariner sailing as navigation officer on cruise ships, a role he helps for around 11 years. After some onshore roles, he started his commercial career at the busy trading desks of BHP Marketing and thereafter worked as regional (southern Europe) sales manager for Damen.

By the end of 2017, Andrea had been appointed globally responsible for the sale of newbuild ocean-going cruise ships and for the marketing of the newly introduced Damen Cruise brand.

Within the industry he is a proud ambassador for Damen at various industry associations such as CLIA, FCCA and AECO and responsible for cruise key accounts. He reports directly to Arnout Damen, Damen Group Chief Commercial Officer and Executive Board Member.

Global Product Manager Maintenance & Upgrade Services Damen Cruise

Rogier worked in the cruise maintenance sector for almost 30 years before joining Damen. He sees his move to Damen as stepping into the Champions’ League.

Working for Damen gives him the opportunity to concentrate on what he does best – supporting Damen clients with their repair and conversion requirements at one of our many yards worldwide.

It’s an exciting job, with lots of challenges to overcome. Strong relationships with the clients are important – not forgetting to have some fun along the way too.

Commercial Director Maintenance & Upgrade Services Damen Cruise

Bas is very proud of the services his team provide for the maintenance and upgrade of cruise vessels. The goal is not to simply be a shipyard, but to be the enabler of our clients’ wishes. With several projects under our belt in river cruise as well as medium and large-sized seagoing cruise vessels, our experience is growing rapidly.

Sales and Marketing Support

As a proud graduate of Hotelschool the Hague in the Netherlands and with a huge passion for sailing, hospitality, boats and travel, Frederique, after a few years of hospitality start-ups, started at Damen Cruise. She supports our team in their sales and marketing activities with the intention of optimising your journey with Damen Cruise.

Sales and Marketing Support

With a professional background in secretarial work and management assistance, Desiree is responsible for Sales and Marketing Support at Damen Cruise. She supports SVP Sales and Marketing Damen Cruise in his sales activities and coordinates the marketing tasks.

Desiree joined Damen, bringing forth her love in working with people and enthusiasm in delivering the best experience with our products.

Senior Legal Counsel

Ben started his career by serving 6 years in the Royal Australian Navy as a Marine Technician before deciding to make a transition into law. He has worked in various roles in Australia and United Kingdom before moving to the Netherlands in 2008. Ben brings over 15 years’ experience in construction, oil and gas and shipbuilding industries to Damen Cruise and is responsible for the negotiation of all newbuild contracts as well as other legal matters.

Senior Legal Counsel

Tulay developed her legal expertise in the shipbuilding and offshore energy industry prior to joining Damen Shiprepair and Conversion in 2018. She advises on building, conversion and repair contracts and all other related matters under both English and Dutch law. Her 15 years of legal experience and background make her a valuable asset to the Damen Cruise team.


The dedicated cruise Design and Proposal team is located at our cruise office in Rotterdam.

They support the sales/tender process of newbuild ocean cruise ships creating the design and specifications for our offers. During this process skilled naval architects/engineers of our fully-owned engineering company, Denmark-based Knud E Hansen support the Design & Proposal team.

VP Design & Proposal Cruise

As a naval architect involved with complex projects throughout his career it feels to Robin like being involved with Cruise at Damen is a perfect match. He recognises that cruise building is competitive and challenging, and with that the need for Damen to keep on improving itself with every bid and every project. He is of the opinion that cruising is about having fun working on products enabling that gives him a lot of energy.

Tender Manager Cruise

Johan has joined Damen in 1999 and had several positions in engineering, project -and yard management. In 2017 he joined the Damen Cruise team as tender manager and had the honour to manage the design and proposal part for the Seadream project; Damen’s first newbuilding cruise contract. He enjoys the interesting mix of technical complexity and financial constraints, the teamwork with his colleagues, the relationship with the clients and is looking forward to guide the next cruise project to a contract.

Tender Manager Cruise

Richard believes it is an honor to be part of this very ambitious team, developing amazing and complex projects.

With his 20 years of experience as an Engineer within the maritime and aviation industries, the cruise sector is a great new challenge he is keen to succeed in.

Design & Proposal Engineer (PG)

Asiyan has been working on various projects as engineer shipbuilding for 10 years with a glimpse at yacht design.

Her responsibilities now are to design a cruise ship based on your requirements and/or wishes according to classification and legislation. Next to this she looks forward to preparing your technical documents and cost price calculations.

Design & Proposal Engineer

Emilia became a valuable team member of Damen Cruise in the beginning of 2019 when she moved from Finland to the Netherlands to take up her role. Her main responsibilities are on the interior outfitting. Before landing on Dutch soil, she worked within the maritime industry in Finland and achieved degrees in furniture and interior design.

Design & Proposal Engineer Mechanical

For 6 years Freek sailed as an engineer, followed by 7 years on shore at multiple shipping companies. Within Damen Cruise he is responsible for the mechanical engineering discipline of proposals.

Design & Proposal Engineer

In total Luca has 14 years of experience as an engineer, 6 of which he has spent at Damen involved in the shipbuilding part of cruise ships newbuilding design. His interests are naval architecture, structure, noise and vibrations.


Mara-Lise joined the Damen Cruise in the beginning of 2019 as Secretary to the technical team. Having gained a lot of experience in her previous job, Mara-Lise is a true star in organizing and exceeding expectations. She looks forward to welcome you and adds great value and energy to the team! Born in Rotterdam and still a proud citizen, she can also update you on the highlights of this beautiful city!


The Damen Group Corporate Customer Finance Team is made up of solutions-driven, experienced specialists. Their main goal is making sure that our cruise clients’ business plans become bankable in cooperation with AAA financing institutions.

Director Corporate Finance & Treasury

Jan Willem is proud to be part of the success of the team of Damen Cruise and of the way finance capabilities are offered as integrated solutions.

Before joining Damen, Jan Willem worked in various positions in on- and offshore companies. He is specialised in complex project finance structures for on- and offshore facilities and lease solutions, as well as standardising operations in treasury. He won the Adam Smith award for the best European Accounts payable setup in 2017 for a fully robotised treasury operation with his previous employer, Heerema Marine Contractors. He raised an amount of well over $4bln in debt in over a hundred transactions ranging from under a million to over a billion per deal.

Corporate Finance Manager

Cruise is about exploring new frontiers. This is what brought Geert to Damen Cruise at the end of 2017.

Geert has a background in international relations and has worked in diplomatic affairs in Nairobi and port developments in West-Africa. Subsequently, Geert started at Damen as Customer Finance Manager in arranging export finance for clients in Africa, Eastern Europe and Russia. Currently, as Corporate Finance Manager he is involved with financing arrangement for cruise operators, pre-financing schemes and digitization project to enhance financing solutions.


The operations team is in charge of the execution of our cruise (ocean) newbuilding contracts.

This team of experienced and skilled shipbuilders coordinate, from our dedicated offices in Rotterdam, the shipbuilding process together with our dedicated shipbuilding team at Damen Shipyards Mangalia, Romania.

They will also provide to the Design & Proposal /sales team during the sales process as well as elaborate on the specifications and project management planning.

MD Cruise, RoPax & Offshore

Erik is a well experienced, energetic, enthusiastic and solution driven Damen executive who was previously running the Damen Technical Cooperation Division.

VP Cruise Projects

Raoul has over 30 years’ experience in the maritime industry serving onboard a variety of merchant and cruise vessels. Later he worked on shore in IT, fleet operations, design, building and project management. He joined Damen Cruise recently and is responsible for the project execution of all newbuild contracts (coastal and ocean cruise).

Assistant Project Manager

Janne has been working in the cruise shipbuilding industry for 15 years and likes building them. Why? Because building a cruise ship is one of the most difficult and complex projects in the world.

His responsibilities and tasks have been in all aspects of the project., though design has always been his main area of expertise.

Project Manager Engineering

Jurjen is looking forward to meeting you as Project Manager Engineering for Damen Cruise. He has a background in shipbuilding and technical project management of complex offshore projects.

Key Manager Outfitting & Design

Joan started to enjoy the cruise industry as an interior designer in 2006. She developed concepts of GAs and interiors for all different areas of cruise ships. Her goal is to design, together with our clients, visible and non-visible elements that create harmonious and holistic experiences for the passengers.

Project Manager LNG

Henk has 15 years of experience within the shipbuilding industry, related to newbuilds as well as major conversions. His experience and competences cover LNG fuelled marine solutions in the cruise, RoPax, ferries, offshore and merchant segments. He started his marine carrier as New Product Development Engineer LNG and developed to become Senior Bid Manager, as advisor, consultant for LNG marine solutions to ship owners and shipyards.

At the beginning of 2018, Henk joined the new business unit Cruise, Ropax & Offshore.

Assistant Purchaser

Raffaella has a Master Degree in Purchasing and has a background in Oil & Gas and Fashion. Her technical skills and a touch of creativity is what makes her the perfect fit for a complex world as the one of Cruise.

Why ships? Because for her building a ship means taking a journey beyond the horizon.

Senior Office & Project Assistant

Zahira is a Senior Interior Architect who has a broad design and technical knowledge of the superyachts industry.

At Damen Cruise, she has a multi-tasking role. She assist the PM Interior Outfitting and Design with her project management duties and at the same time making sure that things are running smoothly in the office.


Our strategically located, state-of-the-art facilities, with skilled people are looking forward to welcoming your ship. Both for newbuild projects and maintenance & upgrade services, our teams and yards are ready and equipped to take on every challenge.

Managing Director Damen Shipyards Mangalia

Damen Shipyards Mangalia’s Managing Director is proud of the yard’s infrastructure and facilities. At the moment, he is busy trying to show the world just how extensive the capabilities of Damen’s latest – and largest – yard are. Having already shown numerous clients around the site, he has taken great confidence in their impressions and looks forward to continuing to promote Damen Shipyards Mangalia as an excellent location for the construction of cruise ships.

Managing Director Damen Verolme Rotterdam BV & Damen Shiprepair Rotterdam

If any evidence is needed that Damen Verolme Rotterdam can accommodate any vessel or offshore structure afloat, then the two week visit by the 362-metre, 225,000 GT cruise ship 'Oasis of the Seas', one of the largest in the world, should remove any doubts. Together with our partners, Damen Verolme executed a safe and excellent job in the shortest possible time-period. Jan Kees Pilaar is proud that this project demonstrates high quality execution capabilities and looks forward to more opportunities to partner with cruise ship owners.

Managing Director Damen Shiprepair Amsterdam

Damen Shiprepair Amsterdam, a fully certified shipyard in Amsterdam, was founded in 1920 by the NDSM (Netherlands Dock and Shipbuilding Company). The yard draws on century of experience with focus on safety, quality and getting the job done within the agreed borders of both time and budgets.

With 4 pcs. graven docks, 750 metres of non-tidal wet berths, excellent workshop and machining facilities, but most importantly, an experienced and dedicated crew which is always ready to take the extra step, Damen Shiprepair Amsterdam is a well-known shipyard in the industry of both river and seagoing cruises. Going the extra yard in ship repair and conversion.

Managing Director Damen Shiprepair Brest

Patrick Renavot has started his career in Brest Shipyard in 1996. Years after years and step by step he took more responsibilities within the organization to become Commercial Manager in 2015 and Managing Director of Damen Shiprepair Brest since 2018 as first French MD since Damen took over the Yard in 2012.

Knowing very well the environment of the shipyard and the local actors is of course a plus. Patrick Renavot is very proud to hear from Captains and Cruise Customers in general, that Brest is one of the most beautiful places in the world to perform dockings. He’ll keep on moving to satisfy their customers and making Brest the reference Yard for Cruise Maintenance & Conversion.

R & D

Our Damen Group Research & Development team brings the knowledge of innovative shipbuilding to newbuilding as well as maintenance & upgrade projects, striving to find efficient and sustainable solutions for our customers.

Head of Business Innovation & Corporate Venturing

Reinier van Herel has recently been appointed Head of Business Innovation & Corporate Venturing, a completely new position at Damen.

Reinier celebrates his 21st anniversary at Damen and was previously Sales Manager Southern Europe, Commercial Director Services and Regional Director Africa prior to his exciting new position. He is proud to have been part of the Damen Shipyards’ team in taking its first steps into the world of the cruise industry.

R&D CRO Group Teamlead

Nikola Radovic, team leader within R&D department. The main role of the team is to support the CRO business unit with advice on advanced engineering and in depth knowledge of ships and ship systems.

The R&D department is a hub for new technologies within Damen and as such also responsible to transfer knowledge to rest of organization. Since change of technology in recent decade has speed up their role has become very dynamic and challenging. The fact, that Damen is not only the shipyard but rather an integrator of technology, is making their role more important and more fulfilling.


The Damen Shipyards Group has an unmatched regional sales network worldwide.

The regional sales organisation supports Damen Cruise’s dedicated global sales and marketing team with their skills and cultural knowledge where and when needed.

Our Regional Sales organisation consists of commercial specialists with in-depth knowledge of a large number of products in the Damen portfolio, the regional culture and all related aspects.

Sales Manager Sales Area North, West & South EU

Responsible for commercial activities within Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Bosnia and Serbia, during 19yrs within the Damen organisation, Remko’s experience in engineering, project management, contracting and sales/financing has developed. He has had the opportunity to develop some very interesting projects in different market segments, including offshore and cruise.

Market Development Executive Area North America, Canada

Ruud is heading the Damen Area Support North America office in Houston, Texas.

Being in the market, Ruud supports the Global Sales Team with a wealth of local knowledge and has more than 30 years of technical and commercial expertise. The Houston office offers a local point-of-contact, in our customers’ time zone, for all Damen Cruise related enquiries.

GM New Construction North America

Jan, referred to as the business ’ambassador’ with unique skills to open ‘corporate doors’ and to build long lasting international relationships joint the Damen Shipyards group in April 2011. He is responsible for all commercial activities of the Damen Group in North America.