Cunard has announced the appointment of Katie McAlister as its new president. McAlister will join the Southampton-based cruise line in August after a 20-year career with TUI where she is currently chief marketing officer, U.K. and Ireland.
Carnival U.K. President Sture Myrmell said, “We are delighted to have someone of Katie’s caliber join Cunard at this vital time of expansion. 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 maximized as we look forward to the introduction of Queen Anne next year.”
Katie started at TUI in 1998 and has held roles across many parts of the organization, including overseas delivery, commercial, digital and marketing. Most recently as chief marketing officer, she is a member of the U.K. and Ireland board and leads sales channels and marketing in the U.K. and Ireland for TUI, First Choice and Marella Cruises, alongside a global responsibility for the TUI brand and digital marketing.
In other news, Cunard also celebrated a momentous construction milestone recently with the float out of Queen Anne at the Fincantieri Marghera shipyard in Venice, Italy. The 249th ship to sail under the Cunard flag, Queen Anne officially touched water for the first time exactly 365 days before it will set sail on its maiden voyage to Lisbon on May 3, 2024.
The float out was marked by a special ceremony where a Madrina (godmother) was named to offer blessings and best wishes for the ship, celebrating the flow of water into the ship's dry dock. The ceremony completes the first comprehensive phase of construction for Queen Anne, which now transitions to focus on building the luxury ship's interiors.
The design concepts for Cunard's newest ship have been founded on heritage, craftmanship, style, storytelling, and innovation. The 113,000-ton, 3,000-guest Queen Anne, which spans 14 decks, will offer travelers the largest curated art collection at sea.