Director Fleet Operations

We recognise the value in having people with a variety of backgrounds, experience, and skills in our business. That means the role requirements here should be seen as a guide, not a checklist. If you have more, less, or different experiences, but relevant skills, we’d love to hear from you.

We work flexibly and will help you to find a healthy balance of remote working and time in our fantastic Southampton office, collaborating, taking part in events, and getting to know people that makes working with us so rewarding. We welcome the opportunity to discuss reduced hours and job share arrangements.

The Role

Carnival UK is the name behind P&O Cruises and Cunard Line. As a market leader in the cruise industry, we operate spectacular ships all over the globe providing unforgettable holiday happiness. To ensure success against our business goals we are looking for a Fleet Director to join the business.

This is a very exciting and forward-thinking role within our business, and as such we are looking for someone who can take on a key people leadership role whilst also providing strategic control and responsibility over the operational performance, material state and maintenance of the P&O Cruises and Cunard Fleet.

With the support of your team, you will be responsible for defining, implementing, and maintaining all maritime standards that are required to ensure compliance with all statutory, company and ISM code requirements and the forecasting, control and variance analysis of the Repair and Maintenance budget for the P&O Cruises and Cunard Fleets.

Accountabilities include:

  • Ownership of the asset risk portfolio, as documented by the Business Risk Register. Ensure appropriate mitigations and solutions are in place to maintain an acceptable level of risk. Using risk management, disaster and business recovery plans ensure that mitigations for ship condition and asset readiness are in place.
  • Deliver an effective and efficient maintenance/repair strategy for the Fleet, which is aligned with the business goals and asset management strategy.
  • Proactively engage across the Carnival Corporation to identify and drive efficiencies, best practice, and effective Fleet management.
  • Refits: ensure refit specifications reflect the appropriate scope of works for future refits, identifying and addressing major risks and implementing asset management strategies.
  • Compliance: ensure continued compliance of the CUK Fleet with the ISM code, the Environmental Compliance Plan (ECP) and internal GHESS policies and procedures. Liaise with Classification societies, Flag states and other National / International bodies as necessary to ensure continued same operation of the Fleet.
  • Risk: ensure that a tolerable level of risk is maintained across the Fleet, communicating, and escalating emerging risks as required.
  • Performance: The Fleet Director is accountable for in service operational performance, material state and maintenance of the vessels within the P&O Cruises or Cunard Fleet.
  • As a member of the FLT, the Fleet Director will monitor and drive combined ship performance using tools including the Balanced Business Score Card (BBSC).
  • Standards: The Fleet Director is accountable for ensuring the required level of maritime support is provided to the on-board management team to maintain the required standards and operational effectiveness
  • Via initiatives including Maritime Standards, the Fleet Director will drive to improve standards on board the P&O cruises and Cunard Fleet in line with the business objectives
  • Maintain a strong liaison with the Brand’s operational lead to ensure appropriate support is maintained to exceed their guest expectations.
  • Attend Ships within the fleet on a regular basis to review/monitor the maritime condition and performance of each vessel.
  • Deputise for the VP, Asset Management & VP, Fleet Technical Operations as required.
  • Liaise with Corporate and other operating lines at an appropriate level.
  • OPEX: ensuring variance to forecast is predicted and documented. Ensures the drivers behind these variances are fully understood by the business and is accountable for reducing associated risk/costs via planning.
  • OPEX: build the R&M annual budget, working with finance, ship managers and on-board teams to identify structural changes and associated drivers.
  • CAPEX: Using the Capital plan, ensure that the major asset risks are mitigated with appropriate investment, and required and desired improvement initiatives are reflected accurately. Conduct regular review of the Capital plan to ensure forecast remains appropriate.
  • Ensure appropriate measures are in place to support the delivery of the Fleet fuel plan.
  • Shore: leadership of the Fleet Operations team, providing clear direction and motivation which drives success.
  • Ship: support and direction of the on-board operational team and shoreline management of senior engineers.
  • Ship: deputise for VP, Fleet Technical Operations as a member of the Fleet Leadership Team, delivering combined leadership to the Ship SMTs.
  • Continuously review performance, promoting best practice, leading change, enabling, and contributing to the improvement of performance, process, and delivery of efficiencies always.
  • Effectively communicate Maritime objectives and KPI’s to all areas of the department to ensure a strong integrated approach is achieved.

Our role categories range from CUK15 (entry level) to CUK1 (Brand President) so you can clearly see internal development opportunities. This role is a CUK05 and is offered on a full-time permanent basis, with at least two days based in our Southampton office.

About You

Fresh ideas and different perspectives are what excite us most and help us to succeed. Alongside bringing these to the role, you’ll also need:

  • Degree or equivalent in suitable technical discipline
  • In depth knowledge of maritime regulations – ISM Code, SOLAS, Class Rules & applicable Statutory Legislation
  • Ship management / operating experience at a senior level
  • Experience of budget management, financial & commercial skills
  • Proven experience of leading and managing multi-skilled teams, building capability


A STCW III/2 CoC (Chief Engineer) or equivalent is desirable but not essential to the role.

We are happy to consider relocation packages for the right candidate.

Being part of our team has its advantages…

We’re a holiday company so we know there’s more to life than work. Our comprehensive range of benefits are designed to help your personal and financial health and wellbeing.

  • Annual bonus
  • Minimum 25 days leave, bank holiday allowance and holiday trading scheme
  • Employee Discounted Cruising plus Friends and Family offers
  • Contributory Defined Contribution Pension scheme
  • Company paid private medical and dental insurance and health assessment
  • In-house Occupational Health help and access to digital GP
  • Life Assurance
  • Parental and adoption leave
  • Employee Shares Plan
  • Electric Car and Cycle to Work schemes