Cruise Britain reappoints Kate O’Hara as chair

Cruise Britain has appointed Kate O’Hara as its chair for the second time after the previous incumbent stepped down.

O’Hara (pictured) will work in the role alongside her day-to-day position at the Port of Tyne, where she is commercial director.

Cruise Britain brings together ports, destinations and the service sector of the UK cruise industry.

O’Hara replaces James Stangroom, who has stepped down from the role of chair after four years.

She has been involved with Cruise Britain since 2008 and was previously chair until 2013.

In 2020, O’Hara joined Port of Tyne after pursuing a career in cruise and wider travel industries. She has held senior management positions at two UK airports, Teesside and Leeds Bradford, the Port of Dover and, recently, was chief executive of the London City Cruise Port.

In addition, Rebekah Keeler, ABP Southampton’s head of cruise; Kate Smith, Liverpool Cruise Terminal’s passenger operations manager; Ian Diaper, Portsmouth International Port’s head of operations; have all joined the association’s steering group.

The steering group oversees and advises the Cruise Britain association about its activities.

O’Hara said: “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.”

She paid tribute to Stangroom for “charting a successful course over his four years in office”.

Outgoing chair, James Stangroom, said: “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.”

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