Larry Rapp: Remembering a Visionary Leader in the Luxury Cruise Industry

Jun 13, 2023

The luxury cruise industry mourns the loss of Larry Rapp, a true leader, mentor, and inspiring soul who left an indelible mark on the industry. Larry passed away after a brave battle with acute leukemia, leaving behind a legacy that will forever be cherished.

Larry was the heart and soul of Seabourn, instrumental in shaping the company from its beginings and throughout its journey. From philosophy to hardware to operations, he played a pivotal role in developing and running cruise lines, including Royal Viking, Pearl Cruises of Scandinavia, Seabourn, and Cunard. His contributions were immeasurable, and many in the industry owe their success and growth to Larry's guidance and inspiration.

Julie Rapp, Larry's wife, spoke fondly of his dedication to Seabourn, calling it his "baby." As a member of Seabourn's start-up team, Larry served as VP of fleet operations for an impressive 24 years, elevating the brand to the pinnacle of luxury. Julie expressed pride in Larry's accomplishments with Seabourn, emphasizing the innovative and transformative nature of the product he helped shape.

Larry's impact extended beyond Seabourn, as he was also involved in the success of other notable ventures. Cunard's Queen Mary 2 is another accomplishment that held a special place in Larry's heart. Following Carnival Corp.'s acquisition of Seabourn and its subsequent merger with Cunard, Larry was part of the team responsible for the newbuild and led Cunard's hotel operations for six years.

After leaving Seabourn when the company relocated to Seattle in 2011, Larry embarked on a new journey as an independent consultant. He founded Seawise Consulting Group and focused on projects such as the design of SeaDream Yacht Club's next-generation vessel, SeaDream Innovation. Additionally, Larry oversaw the substantial conversion of Adonia into Azamara Pursuit at Harland & Wolff Shipyard in Belfast, a project valued at $50 million.

Those who worked closely with Larry remember him as a remarkable individual. Peter Cox, who shared several experiences with Larry throughout their careers, described him as a visionary and rock who believed in enriching guests' experiences while fostering respect for officers, staff, and crew.

Larry Rapp's contributions to the luxury cruise industry were immense. His passion, dedication, and innovation shaped the way we perceive and experience cruise travel. He will be deeply missed by his wife Julie, daughter Heather, and the countless individuals whose lives he touched.

As the luxury cruise world mourns the loss of Larry Rapp, we honor his legacy and the profound impact he had on our industry. May Larry rest in peace, forever remembered as a visionary leader who left an indelible mark on the world of luxury cruising.