Harri Kulovaara is executive vice president of Maritime & Newbuilding, responsible for leading the design and construction of several of the world’s most innovative cruise ships for the various brands within Royal Caribbean Group.
Under Kulovaara’s leadership and vision, Royal Caribbean International launched the world’s largest and most revolutionary cruise ship, Oasis of the Seas in 2009, introducing unique industry “firsts” that redefined the cruise vacation experience. Over a decade later, Oasis Class is still the market leader, now in its fifth iteration with the latest delivery of Wonder of the Seas. In 2014, Royal Caribbean International launched the world’s first “smart ship,” Quantum of the Seas, now with five ships in the class.
Kulovaara is also the creative force behind Celebrity Cruises’ three Edge Class ships and five Solstice Class ships, heralded for their stunning and stylish modern luxury design.
Most recently, Kulovaara’s focus has been pushing boundaries in sustainable cruising with the construction of the first Nova Class ship for Silversea Cruises, deepening the corporation’s commitment to the environment.
A cruise industry veteran of more than 40 years, Kulovaara previously served as senior vice president of Marine Operations and Fleet Operations, when the company combined its marine operations and quality assurance functions.
Prior to that, Kulovaara served as executive vice president and chief operating officer for Oy Silja Line AB, a leading cruise ferry operator based in Finland. He also was named executive vice president for Silja Line’s parent company, Effjohn Oy Ab.
In addition to being the chairman of Royal Caribbean Group’s Maritime Advisory Board, Kulovaara is one of the founding members of the Cruise Ship Safety Forum and the current chairman of its Steering Committee. He is also a visiting professor at the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow.
Kulovaara is a naval architect and holds a Master of Science in civil engineering from the Technical University of Helsinki in Finland. In 2015, he received an honorary Doctor of Science from the University of Strathclyde in recognition of his continuous safety improvement efforts through innovation in the maritime industry.