MSC Cruises’ former UK and Ireland chair Peter Pate has died, aged 83.
Pate joined MSC Cruises as UK managing director in 1994 and became UK chairman of the board in December 2006.
After switching to MSC Cruises, he worked hard to promote the Italian cruise operator through the trade.
Pate left MSC in 2011 with the line’s fleet consisting of 11 ships, eight years after the brand had launched its first new-build MSC Lirica.
He began his career with Costa Cruises in 1973 where he founded the UK office and quickly helped developed the fly-cruise concept.
Costa had become the third most successful cruise line in the UK, when he left the line 20 years later.
Ahead of his retirement, he previously said: “With MSC’s distinct Italian heritage, it has been a privilege to work with MSC cruises in the UK.
“My 17 years at MSC Cruises have been challenging, yet rewarding years, and I thank [MSC owner] Gianluigi Aponte and [now MSC chief executive] Pierfrancesco Vago for their belief in me and their support of the UK market.
“In years to come MSC Cruises will take many more strides in gaining an increase in market share both in the UK and globally. I will miss being part of the MSC Cruises family but its time to allow others to steer the London office.”
Public relations expert Marlen Taffarello Godwin, who worked with Pate for 10 years, said: “Peter was a quintessential gentleman. As a client for over a decade he was the perfect client – demanding but fair.
“I never got stressed with Peter. MSC did not have any new ships so it was difficult to make it interesting and sexy. When MSC did bring out new ships with all lights blazing it was a doddle.”
During his retirement, Pate helped out at a local school and played cricket at weekends for Southgate Adelaide.
Pate would also often give after dinner talks about cruising and cricket.
He died peacefully on July 1 at North Middlesex Hospital.
The funeral will be on July 21 at 12.30pm at St Michael’s Church, Wood Green, and at 2pm at New Southgate Crematorium.