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Meet Cunard’s New President and Managing Director, Peter Shanks

September 1, 2009

We Are Cunard

Posted in: Company News


It’s a real pleasure to formally introduce you to our new President and Managing Director. I have had the pleasure of knowing Peter Shanks for quite a while, but thought it was time you got to know a little bit more about the man at the helm of Cunard. I met up with Peter last week on Queen Victoria, and we spent some time together chatting about him, his life and his passion for his new position, which you’ll see in the video clip below.




As readers of this Blog will know Peter Shanks took up his new role at the start of August. He is already very well known by the staff on board as a leading advocate of “We are Cunard”.  



Peter lives in Surrey, England with his wife and two teenage daughters. He has a wide range of interests; many relating to sport. Having played a lot of Rugby on the past, Peter now plays Field Hockey in the London Veteran’s league. His position is goalkeeper and he told me this involves plenty of protective padding as he is the last line of defence. I found out that we both had skiing as a hobby so it was fun to spend some time comparing the quality of various resorts. Another passion for Peter is walking the dog, preferably along the river to the pub and the mountain bike is often brought in to action for some regular exercise.


Having always worked in the travel industry, one aspect of the business that has always been close to Peter’s heart is the people. He told me; “I believe that people are at the start and the heart of every business, no matter how big or small”, he added “At Cunard this is brought to life through White Star Service and the people we have working with Cunard are very special indeed. “


As you will hear in the interview, Peter joined Cunard Line in 2002 as Senior Vice President for Europe and was responsible for all the launch activities of Queen Mary 2 and the spectacular events that took place at the time. Peter went on to become Chief Commercial Officer for Carnival UK, the parent company for P&O Cruises, Cunard Line, Princess Cruises UK and Ocean Village.


Over the last year Peter has focused on moving the Cunard Head Office back from the United States to the new home of Southampton. With the introduction of Queen Elizabeth, Peter is determined to grow Cunard’s presence in all international markets, look after our most valued past guests and to introduce many new guests to the Cunard experience.


I’d like to thank Peter for finding time in his busy schedule for the interview, and I look forward to welcoming him as a regular contributor to the Blog in the future. I am returning to Queen Victoria on Wednesday the 2nd September, so look forward to meeting some of you then. In the meantime I will be back as usual on Thursday with the long promised guest Blog from Maureen Ryan which I know you’ll love. Cheers Alastair

  1. Gail Roberts says:

    Thanks, Alistair for introducing us to Peter Shanks. He sounds like he will do a good job. Also, very happy to hear that Cunard has moved its headquarters back to the U.K. That seems like the right place, and the staff has always been so very British and I think that helps people understand the lure and lore of Cunard. It is certainly more than just another cruise line. Like so many, I love hearing all the news about the new Queen Elizabeth. Good job!

  2. Cliff Poulter says:

    Can you advise please what has happened to the previous holder of the post of President and MD?

  3. Cliff Poulter says:

    Comment posted just now

  4. simon says:

    It is all fine and nice but it is time to stop playing around with these website and get something done about yout telephone answering, or you wont be in business for long ! I have been on hold for over 37 minutes now, and that is a booking i will be sending to P&O i think in future

  5. John Le Raye says:

    Dear Mr Shanks.
    As recent traveler, on the QM2, It was evident the majority of Travelers on this leg were Australians, yet you insisted on trading in American Dollars only. With the Australian Dollar being on par with the American, you would have made more money accepting Aus Dollar for US dollar, than the rip off exchange rate offered. I would have happily parted with the many Aus Dollars I carried, than having to change to US dollars which were worthless to me once the voyage ended.
    You need to consider the costomers more, in this area.

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