Ipswich: On crest of a wave
IPSWICH: A top cruise company has today attributed its glittering success to moving to the town.
Ipswich-based Fred Olsen Cruise Lines, which employs around 250 people, is celebrating after winning a series of top accolades.
Firstly it scooped the much coveted Cruise Line of the Year award – beating off all the major cruise companies.
Now it has won the Cruise Company of the Year for Mainstream Cruise Holidays in the Travel Agents’ Choice Awards .
It has also been voted Best Cruise Line for Groups by both Group Leisure and Group Travel Organiser magazines.
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Nigel Lingard, sales and marketing director for Fred Olsen Cruise Lines, said: “Moving the business from London to Ipswich was the best thing we ever did. It’s gone from strength to strength and we are now ten times bigger than when we started out.”
He added: “We have had a bumper year winning numerous awards and we have achieved that by offering brilliant customer service.
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“We have had to be different to succeed in the current marketplace to outshine our competitors – that’s our secret to success and how we have grown the company.”
The award was particularly poignant for Mr Lingard as he is retiring at the end of the month after dedicating 23 years to the company.
Mr Lingard, who lives in Wetheringsett, added: “I’m sad it is coming to an end but it’s good for new blood to come in and a useful opportunity for people to come in and make their mark. I’ll be leaving behind a legacy of a very strong team of staff and a strong, loyal customer base with a reputation for quality service for my successor.”
Mr Lingard is planning on continuing to work in the cruise and travel industry on a part-time basis as well as spend more time with his wife, Sonja.
Nathan Philpot will be taking over Mr Lingard’s position.
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n Opinion – page 6