Bernard Carter is SVP and Managing Director at Oceania Cruises, a company that he's headed up in the UK for nearly a decade, and his distinguished career in the cruise industry includes time at Silversea and Norwegian Cruise Line. We caught up for a chat at the end of October...
Q: Describe your company in no more than 50 words...
A: Oceania Cruises is the world's leading culinary- and destination-focused cruise line. Our six small and elegantly appointed ships offer a distinctive country house style, with service both unobtrusive and effortless, enabling guests to explore the world whilst returning each day to the comforts of their intimate floating home.
Q: What is your proudest moment as it relates to your company?
A: The arrival of our first newbuild, Marina, into Miami in 2011. This was the first ship that was purpose built for Oceania Cruises, and we were bursting with pride in our new baby. We were all standing at the entry point from the Atlantic to see her arrive - a very emotional moment.
Q: Tell me something about yourself that most people don't know...
A: I am grandpa to 3 amazing grandsons. I know it's a cliché, but they fill my heart with pride and joy.
Q: Tell me what, in your opinion, is the one most significant thing that makes your cruise line different from its competitors?
A: Oceania's special ambience is a home away from home, with the fine dining, exceptional service and elegant surroundings of a private members club. It all flows down from our President, Frank del Rio. He may have started out as an accountant, but his decisions are driven by the heart and soul as well as the head.
Q: What is the next big thing to come from your company?
A: With the emphasis on 'next' we are in the midst of OceaniaNEXT, the re-inspiration not only of our ships but also our brand as a whole. With all but one of our R-Class ships transformed at a total cost of over US$150m, and with two new Allura Class ships arriving from 2022 onward, there is a lot going on!
Q: Why do you love Mundy Cruising and what do you think is the secret of their 50 years of success?
A: Having enjoyed working with Mundy Cruising for over 30 of their 50 years I have always been impressed by the service levels, the care and attention given to every booking and the fact that every individual's needs are taken care of.
I believe that companies have their own psyche. It's true of Mundy, and also of Oceania. The spirit, the ethos of the company, is driven by the senior management, and trickles down through the whole organisation. The Mundy team are a real pleasure to work with - and I am sure their customers must feel the same!