Former MSC Cruises chief operating officer Neil Palomba has joined rival Costa Cruises, it has been confirmed.

Palomba has taken up the newly created role of senior vice president hotel operations and guest experience as of the start of this month.

He will oversee and develop hotel operations and guest services for the Costa fleet, reporting directly to chief executive Michael Thamm.

Thamm said: “With his abilities and extensive international experience in the industry, Neil will make a substantial contribution to our executive team.

“His main responsibilities will be to take Costa forward, to strive for continuous improvement through operational excellence and to make our guests’ experience on board an unforgettable one.”

Palomba started at MSC in 1996.