Cruise Industry

Cunard Line appoints TUI veteran Katie McAlister as president ahead of expansion

Cunard has announced the appointment of Katie McAlister as president as the cruise line prepares for the delivery of its fourth new cruise ship, Queen Anne.

McAlister will join Southampton-based Cunard Line in August after a 20-plus-year career with TUI Cruises where she is currently chief marketing officer, UK & Ireland.

McAlister started at TUI in 1998 and has held roles across most parts of the organisation, including overseas delivery, commercial, digital and marketing.

Katie McAlister, incoming President of Cunard Line

Most recently as chief marketing officer, she is a member of the UK & Ireland board and leads sales channels and marketing in the UK & Ireland for TUI, First Choice and Marella Cruises, alongside a global responsibility for the TUI brand and digital marketing.

She will bring her vast knowledge and experience managing the UK and Ireland cruise markets to bare in her new position, as Cunard Line primarily targets the British and North American source markets.

“We are delighted to have someone of Katie’s caliber join Cunard at this vital time of expansion,” saidCarnival UK President Sture Myrmell.

“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,” he added.

Queen Anne

McAlister will be joining the executive team at Cunard Line as it prepares for the delivery of Queen Anne, the fourth vessel in its current fleet and the largest after the flagship Queen Mary 2.

“This was an unrivalled opportunity to join an iconic travel company at a key point in its history,” said McAllister. “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 announcement comes the day after the cruise line celebrated the float out of Queen Anne. The 113,000-ton, 3,000-guest ship spans 14 decks and offers the largest curated art collection at sea.

The appointment of McAllister as President of Cunard Line also follows a number of executive moves at the top of the wider cruise industry following the COVID-19 pandemic.

Royal Caribbean Group recently replaced Lisa Lutoff-Perlo with Laura Hodges Bethge, as the President & CEO of Celebrity Cruises, while Michael Thamm, CEO of Carnival Corporation’s Costa Group left the company.

He will not be replaced, and Carnival’s AIDAand Costa brands will instead report directly to Carnival Corp. CEO Josh Weinstein. Cunard Line is a subsidiary of Carnival Corporation.

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