For nearly two decades, Poole has specialised in the sector and has held a number of managerial and operations posts dedicated to serving cruise and passenger vessels, most recently for services at UK and Irish ports. He joined GAC on 1 May and is based in Sunderland, from where he will coordinate cruise calls at ports nationwide.
Ports in the UK have always been popular as cruise destinations. In particular, Scottish stopovers like Edinburgh, Kirkwall, Invergordon and ports along the western coast have become popular choices for cruise companies seeking an alternative to offer their passengers to more traditional destinations.
Poole says GAC is in a good position to meet the needs of growing cruise activity: "We're in a great position to grow and enhance our support for the cruise sector, as we already have the port and agent infrastructure well established around the country.
"Further, we have a wide range of frontline expertise available, both in port operations and in niche sectors like bunker fuels, marine leisure and superyachts. We are working those synergies to provide an integrated service package for our cruise customers that frees them of the burden of looking after the details and allows them to focus on delivering a memorable trip for their passengers."
Poole foresees further development of the GAC cruise portfolio to include shore expeditions and other related services. "Cruise clients of other GAC companies throughout Europe, from northernmost Norway to the southern Mediterranean, have been very appreciative of the added value services on offer, and that's what we want to replicate in the UK," he concludes.