Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines has confirmed the appointment of Geoff Ridgeon (pictured) as its new Head of Sales, with effect from 7th May 2019.
Reporting to Justin Stanton, Sales and Marketing Director, he will take overall responsibility for managing Fred Olsen’s UK sales teams, as well as further developing relations with the travel trade.
Ridgeon has been Head of Cruise at Fred Olsen Travel – also based in Ipswich, Suffolk – since 2011, and has fulfilled a number of roles over his 22-year career with the company, including Franchise Manager, Sales Manager – Star Clippers, and Reception Manager across the Fred Olsen fleet.
He will be taking over from Mike Evans, who has been Head of Sales at the cruise line since April, 2017. Evans will be retiring on 26th April, 2019, after a27-year career with Fred Olsen.
Speaking of his new appointment, Ridgeon said:“I am delighted to be taking on this exciting new challenge, and I look forward to bringing my 14 years of travel agency experience to Fred Olsen Cruise Lines, which will stand us in good stead in growing our relationships with the trade.
“Of course, I will be sad to leave Fred Olsen Travel and GoCruise, where I have enjoyed a long and varied career, but I am thrilled to be joining another thriving part of the Fred Olsen business. I woud just like to pay tribute to all my colleagues and managing director, Steve Williams, for their valuable support over the years.
“I know that I have a big role to fulfil with Mike Evans retiring, but he leaves Fred Olsen Cruise Lines in a very strong position. I look forward to working with the trade to further develop the understanding of Fred Olsen’s leading ‘closer’ strategy of unrivalled destination experience, exceptional customer service and friendly, smaller ships. Having worked on them myself earlier in my career, I can definitely recommend them!” he concluded.
At the same time, the Ipswich-based company is to start work on a new £10 mill headquarters, which will be more than double the size of its existing premises, whichwill allow the different arms of the company to work under one roof.
The building is scheduled to be completed in the summer of 2020, with work then set to begin on refurbishing the existing building, which is due to be finished by the end of that year.
The new complex will increase the size of Fred.Olsen House from 14,000 sq ft to 32,000 sq ft and means staff of all its subsidiary companies based in Whitehouse can work from the same base.