Cruise Britain chair Kate O'Hara

Cruise Britain brings in Kate O’Hara as new chair

Cruise Britain has appointed Kate O’Hara as chair for the second time.

O’Hara, who will combine the job with her position as Port of Tyne commercial director, takes the helm following James Stangroom’s decision to step down after four years in the role.

O’Hara has previously held senior management positions at Teesside Airport, Leeds Bradford Airport, the Port of Dover and, most recently, as CEO of London City Cruise Port.

She 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 cooperative 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.’’

Stangroom added: “I feel privileged to have been chair 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.

“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 has also added to its Steering Group, which oversees and advises on the association’s activities.

Rebekah Keeler, head of cruise for ABP Southampton, Kate Smith, passenger operations manager at Liverpool Cruise Terminal, and Ian Diaper, head of operations at Portsmouth International Port, have joined the group.

Cruise Britain works with other cruise industry associations including CLIA UK & Ireland, Cruise Europe and MedCruise, among others.

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