Cruise Exec Spotlight: Jan Swartz

The Princess and the Sea

Jan Swartz is not your typical soccer mom. Or is she?

By Fran Golden

Meet Jan Swartz, president of Los Angeles–based Princess Cruises, Harvard MBA, and… soccer mom. At work, she runs a cruise line with 18 ships and more than 25,000 employees around the world. At home, she runs a family.

In fact, her 12-year-old, Samantha, has passionately embraced cooking, which is fine with Swartz.
“The culinary offerings at Chez Swartz do not hold a candle to Princess Cruises,” Swartz jokes. “I always say I have a very full life — and don’t look behind the curtain.”

The Road to Cruising

After following her Harvard class-clown husband, Rob, to Los Angeles, Swartz began her career in the cruise industry as a management consultant with Bain & Company for which Princess Cruises was a client.

In 2001, she eventually went to work for the line and was appointed the company’s vice president of strategy and business development. In 2004, she became senior vice president of customer service and sales for both Princess Cruises and Cunard Line; became executive vice president, sales, marketing and customer service in January 2009; and in fall 2013, was named president.

“I just fell in love with the cruise industry,” she says. “It’s an amazing business. You get to help millions of people experience joy and see the wonders of the world. For me, that’s a great reason to wake up and go to work every day.” Swartz added that she also saw cruising as a dynamic growth business.

You’d think that having a mom who runs a cruise line would be the coolest thing for Samantha and 10-year-old sister, Lauren — except when your dad is a TV executive. Rob is senior vice president, development and current programming, for ReelzChannel and he’s on the board of the Television Academy, which means tickets to the Emmy …

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Photo: Princess Cruises

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