David Dingle CBE (b. 1957) joined P&O as a graduate fresh out of university and is today the Chairman of cruise giant Carnival UK.
David was born in Fareham, Hampshire and attended Jesus College, Cambridge, where he attained an MA in classics. He was courted by accountancy firms after leaving university but took the advice of a neighbour, a retired P&O captain who persuaded him that “cruise liners might offer more variety and excitement.” He joined P&O Cruises as a graduate trainee in 1978 and undertook a varied traineeship, covering everything from marine engineering to finance and marketing. After holding a series of commercial positions, he rose through the ranks to become Managing Director in 2000.
At the time of the merger of P&O Princess Cruises Plc and the American-owned Carnival Corporation in 2003, David became Managing Director of Carnival UK. He was later appointed CEO of Carnival UK in 2007, with operating responsibility for the UK-based brands P&O Cruises and Cunard Line, then operating 87 cruise ships around the world. In 2008, he organised the sale of the QE2 to Dubai, and ran P&O operations in Australia. David has overseen strong sales growth in recent years, and the expansion of the fleet with Cunard’s 2,000-passenger Queen Elizabeth and P&O’s Azura, which can carry 3,100. He became Chairman of Carnival UK in 2014.
David was awarded a CBE in 2009 for services to shipping. In 2009, he also joined the board of the European Community Shipowners Association. He is a former President of The UK Chamber of Shipping and the European Cruise Council (now CLIA Europe) and continues to serve on the boards of both groups. David has previously served as a director of the Association of British Travel Agents.
David was honoured by the British Travel & Hospitality Hall of Fame in 2009.