On Monday, November 27, 2017, Captain Paris Katsoufis, 77, who led Dolphin Cruise Line, Majesty Cruise Line and Cunard Line as president before going on to found his own ship management company, died in Miami, Florida. Katsoufis was injured in a bicycle accident just before Thanksgiving and died in the hospital, surrounded by his family.
Katsoufis was born and educated in Lechaina, Greece. At 18, Paris began his career in shipping and enrolled in the Merchant Marine Academy of Greece for officer training. Quickly rising up the ranks, Paris earned his first command at the age of 29, the youngest Captain in his employer’s fleet.
Katsoufis gained command in 1984 as President and Co-Founder of upstart Dolphin Cruise Line in the nascent Miami cruise market. Over the next 13 years, he grew Dolphin Cruise Line and built another line in Majesty Cruise Line, operating at their peaks with five ships.
Briefly, he took on the challenge as President of Cunard Cruise Line to turnaround, relocate and position the company for sale to Carnival Cruise Line. His career then settled with the establishment of Kyma Ship Management in 1997 where he continued to manage a number of cruise and cargo vessels until his final day, having never retired from his life’s calling.
He was one of the original successful Greek entrepreneurs,’ said Larry Pimentel, president and CEO of Azamara Club Cruises, who succeeded Katsoufis at the Cunard helm in 1998. Katsoufis was ‘very grassroots in his orientation and very loyal to people who were loyal to him.’
Paris was a character, a pioneer in the industry, an entrepreneur and an all-around good guy,’ according to Ken Dubbin, a veteran senior executive of Carnival Corp. and Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. who had business dealings with Katsoufis.