Carnival Corp has tapped a travel industry veteran from Germany’s TUI to lead its Cunard luxury cruise line.
Southampton-based brand Cunard Line has hired Katie McAlister, chief marketing officer of UK and Ireland for German-based TUI Cruises, as its new president.
“We are delighted to have someone of Katie’s calibre join Cunard at this vital time of expansion.” Carnival UK president Sture Myrmell said in a statement.
“Her commercial and operational experience as well as digital transformation expertise and strategic oversight will build on the current team’s exceptional work to ensure that Cunard’s brand and growth opportunities are maximised as we look forward to the introduction of Queen Anne next year.”
Italian shipbuilder Fincantieri expects to finish and deliver the 3,000-berth Queen Anne to Cunard later this year.
McAlister has held several roles with TUI, the German travel company, that are focused on overseas delivery, commercial and digital operations and marketing since joining in 1998.
As chief marketing officer for TUI in the UK and Ireland, where she was a member of the board of directors and leds sales and marketing efforts in the UK & Ireland for TUI, Marella Cruises and travel agency First Choices.
She also holds a global responsibility for the TUI brand and digital marketing.
“This was an unrivalled opportunity to join an iconic travel company at a key point in its history,” she said of her appointment as Cunard’s president.
“I am so looking forward to joining the team as it widens its appeal and expands its guest base whilst retaining its renowned luxury, signature touches.”
Cunard’s fleet consists of three vessels: the 2081-berth Queen Elizabeth (built 2010), the 2,691-berth Queen Mary 2 (built 2003) and the 2,061-berth Queen Victoria (built 2007).
McAlister is among a roster of women that have assumed leadership roles in the business, including Barbara Muckermann, chief executive of Royal Caribbean Group’s Silversea Cruises, and Wybcke Meier, chief executive of TUI Cruises.
Other women leading the sector include Lisa Lutoff-Perlo, chief executive of Celebrity Cruises, and Andrea Demarco, president of Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings’ Regent Seven Seas Cruises.
Carnival Corp has three women serving at the top of brinds: Carnival Cruise Lines president Christine Duffy, Holland America Group president Jan Swartz and P&O Cruises Australia president Marguerite Fitzgerald.
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