MSC Cruises executive chairman Pierfrancesco Vago is to take over as chairman of Clia Europe at the end of the year.

He will succeed Silversea Cruises chairman Lefebvre d’Ovidio, who has held the Clia role for three and a half years. He will remain a member of Clia’s global executive committee.

The cruise organisation’s secretary general Robert Ashdown said: “As vice-chairman of Clia Europe Pierfrancesco Vago has played a key role in the successful transformation of the association and has earned the respect of fellow industry colleagues and regulators alike.

“I look forward to working with him as the industry continues its strong growth in Europe.”

Vago said: “Manfredi Lefebvre d’Ovidio has been an extraordinary chairman and will be a hard act to follow.

“He has left a strong and positive legacy which I aim to build on. In particular he has built strong relationships with governments and regulators, most notably the European Commission and European Parliament, contributing significantly to the development of the positive and credible reputation the industry enjoys today.

“Under his leadership we have built an industry that we should all be proud of. Together we employ over 325,000 Europeans, we serve more than 6 million Europeans on our cruise ships, and we generate almost €38 billion in output for Europe’s economy.”