Members of the travel trade, cruise industry and the media gathered at London’s elegant Reform Club in Pall Mall on 22nd November 2011, at a glittering reception to honour the retiring Sales and Marketing Director of Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines, Nigel Lingard.
Nigel is stepping down after 23 years with the cruise line, and is being replaced by Nathan Philpot, who joined Fred. Olsen in October 2011. In addition to taking charge of product development, Nathan has overall responsibility for sales, marketing and reservations for the UK and international markets.
Nigel’s involvement with the travel industry dates back to 1979, when he joined Swedish ferry company, Tor Line, operating out of Felixstowe, Suffolk; he joined Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines in 1988, when it operated just one ship – Black Prince.
Nigel wished his successor well and spoke of his lasting love of travel, and commented that joining the cruise industry had been one of the best decisions he had ever made:
"After much deliberation, I have decided to spend more time travelling with my family…at my own leisure! I have thoroughly enjoyed all the challenges and opportunities that I have faced in my time with Fred. Olsen, and I am leaving it in an extremely strong position for future growth and continued success."
While looking forward to spending more time with his wife, Sonja, who accompanied him to the reception, Nigel confirmed that he intended to maintain an interest in the industry and had ‘one or two projects in the pipeline’.
Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines’ Managing Director, Mike Rodwell, paid tribute to Nigel’s handling of every major development as the cruise line has expanded over the years, commending him for managing each new challenge ‘successfully, calmly and efficiently’:
"We wish Nigel every success with his future plans, and thank him for the tremendous contribution he has made to Fred. Olsen. He has seen us grow from a single-ship operation to being one of the most well-established cruise lines in the world, and he leaves behind an important legacy upon which we can grow in the coming years."
William Gibbons, Director of the Passenger Shipping Association, of which Nigel is a past Director and Chairman, also spoke at the reception, calling Nigel Lingard a ‘guru’, ‘sage’ and ‘always, a purveyor of good advice’.
Fred. Olsen Cruise Line operates in the UK with four intimately sized ships for a more personal cruising experience.