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Change at the helm for Cruise Britain

12 January 2022

Kate O’Hara

Cruise Britain, the association which brings together the ports, destinations and service sector of the UK cruise industry, welcomes a new Chair as industry expert Kate O’Hara, Port of Tyne, takes the helm for a second time and James Stangroom, Bristol Port Company, steps down after four years in the role.

In addition, the Steering Group which oversees and advises on Cruise Britain’s activities welcomes new members Rebekah Keeler (Head of Cruise, ABP Southampton), Kate Smith (Passenger Operations Manager, Liverpool Cruise Terminal) and Ian Diaper (Head of Operations, Portsmouth International Port). They join fellow port members James Stangroom (Business Development Manager, Bristol Port Company) and Ian McQuade (General Manager – Commercial, Portland Port), and industry service providers Peter Knight (SVP, Denholm Port Services), Mary Bond (Group Director, Seatrade), and Tom Dynes (Operations Director, Solent Stevedores). James Langley, Director of Marine and Technical Operations at Saga Cruises, continues his role as Cruise Britain’s cruise line representative.

New Chair Kate O’Hara said, “Having been involved in Cruise Britain since its inception in 2008, and Chair until 2013, I’m delighted to reprise the role of Chair albeit at a very different stage in the life of the association. Cruise Britain is thriving as a membership organisation and has worked tirelessly to support members and cruise lines over the course of the pandemic. The industry has had a challenging two years and we will be building on the collaboration and co-operative working that has allowed our industry to restart successfully. Sincere thanks to James for charting a successful course over his four years in office, and I’m looking forward to working together with the Steering Group, Director, our members and cruise lines, and to continue to position Britain as an attractive, safe cruise destination’’.

‘’I’d also like to recognise the contribution of Cruise Britain’s Steering Group and Director both now and in previous years. The breadth and depth of industry experience and knowledge within our Steering Group is second-to-none and is one of the great strengths of the association’’ added O’Hara.

Kate joined Port of Tyne in 2020 following a successful career in the cruise and wider travel industries. A Northumbria University graduate, she has held senior management positions at Teesside Airport, Leeds Bradford Airport, the Port of Dover, and most recently as CEO of London City Cruise Port.

Outgoing Chair, James Stangroom commented “I feel privileged to have been Chair of Cruise Britain at a time when the cruise industry both here in the UK and globally has come together to address the challenges of the last two years. Our ports and service providers are extremely pro-active and supportive and are led by a strong, experienced and committed Steering Group. Kate’s 20 years of experience in the cruise industry will be an invaluable asset to the association and I look forward to continuing to support Cruise Britain through the Steering Group’’.

Cruise Britain, Britain’s premier cruise port and service provider membership association, works with industry colleagues throughout the UK, Europe and globally including CLIA UK & Ireland, regional port associations such as Cruise Europe and MedCruise, UK Border Force, UK Chamber of Shipping, British Port Association, ESPO’s Cruise & Ferry Port Network and VisitBritain.