Shaping Portsmouth is pleased to announce Vanessa Busfield as the new Programme Co-Lead for our Cruise Passenger Programme, alongside Kate Pearce.
The core objective of the Cruise Passenger Programme is to establish Portsmouth as a leading UK cruise industry port. By leveraging the exceptional qualities that make Portsmouth and the surrounding region a world-class cruise destination, the programme aims to develop a range of unique passenger experiences to offer cruise lines and their passengers. The Meet and Greet Ambassadors focus on warmly welcoming cruise passengers and promoting the myriad of wonderful things they can do in the city to boost the local economy.
Vanessa was born and raised in Bombay (now Mumbai). She lived there for 20 years where she attended school and college. Whilst there, she learnt several Indian languages and acquired diverse skills.
Afterwards, she moved to the UK, and gained extensive experience in the travel industry, working for Thomson Holidays (now TUI) as well as a travel agency in Bournemouth.
Subsequently, Vanessa and her family – her children and ex-husband – relocated to Germany, where they lived for 28 years. This was when she took the opportunity to learn German, and this has been more than useful to the Cruise Programme.
Since returning to Portsmouth almost a decade ago, Vanessa has been actively volunteering her time with various organisations in the city, including the Portsmouth Ambassadors programme and the Cruise Passenger Meet and Greets. Her commitment to the city and the Shaping Portsmouth organisation was recognized when she received The Portsmouth Volunteer of the Year Award at the Shaping Portsmouth 2023 Conference.
Vanessa shared, “I loved growing up in Mumbai and had a fantastic education. I worked in the travel industry for many years before I moved to Germany with my children and Ex-husband. During my 28 years in Germany, I further expanded my language skills by taking the opportunity to learn German colloquially, which I now put to great use at the Port for our Meet and Greet programme.
I have been an Ambassador for Portsmouth for nearly 8 years – and, thanks to Sarah Bell, who introduced our Meet and Greet programme, I have enormous pleasure promoting our great Waterfront City. This is my way of saying thank you to our city for making me so welcome.
Naturally, I am only a small part of a great team of Ambassadors, as well as the Port staff, shuttle bus drivers and SMS Supervisors. I am delighted to be able to continue to serve this great city and to stand alongside Kate Pearce as co-lead”
Kate Pearce, Joint Lead for the Shaping Portsmouth Cruise Passenger Programme, expressed her excitement about Vanessa’s involvement, saying, “It will be brilliant having Vanessa on board as joint lead for the Cruise Programme.
Ever since she has been involved with welcoming guests from the cruise ships that visit Portsmouth, she has brought a wealth of expertise and enthusiasm to the role. I look forward to working with her to ensure all cruise passengers visiting our city receive the warmest of welcomes.”
Andrew Williamson, passenger operations manager at Portsmouth International Port stated, “It’s fantastic to hear that Vanessa has been made joint lead of the Cruise Passenger Programme, following the commitment she has shown to the port and the city. Her work as an ambassador has become well recognised by passengers and crews of our regular cruise callers and she is now a familiar and friendly face on the quayside, welcoming guests to Portsmouth and helping them make the most of their visit. Vanessa’s fluent German is a taste of home for passengers onboard the likes of Aida, TUI and Phoenix Reisen ships and we are proud to have her working alongside and representing the port team.”
Our Business and Marketing Coordinator, Marian Glover, added “The Cruise Meet and Greets have been a tremendous success over the years, and this is due to all the support we receive from all our wonderful Portsmouth Ambassadors and the commitment of the entire team. Vanessa exemplifies the role of a Portsmouth Ambassador. She has been a dedicated member of our cruise Meet and Greet Programme for many years and has been present and managed every single shift this year. Her love for the city and enthusiasm for the programme are truly remarkable. Vanessa is proactive and always willing to assist Shaping Portsmouth at a moment’s notice. I can personally attest that her participation and passion have contributed to the Programme’s success. I am thrilled that she has taken on this leadership role, and I look forward to our continuing to work with her.”