The cruise industry’s best and brightest were recognised and celebrated at the Cruise Industry Awards over the weekend.
Held by Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) Australasia at The Star Sydney on Saturday, the gala dinner and presentation night awarded 19 of Australia and New Zealand’s most dedicated travel agencies, agents and journalists.
Taking home top honours on the night were Julie Avery of Brighton Travelworld (Australia’s Cruise Consultant of the Year), and Lorraine Van Veen of House of Travel Botany Junction (New Zealand Cruise Consultant of the Year).
Jeff Leckey of House of Travel was named Cruise Champion for Australasia.
Agency winners included Bicton Travel, named Australia’s Large Cruise Agency of the Year, and Helloworld Lambton Quay/St Heliers/Mt Eden/Botany, chosen as New Zealand’s Large Cruise Agency of the Year.
Australia’s Small Cruise Agency of the Year was New Farm Travel, while New Zealand’s Small Cruise Agency of the Year was Pukekohe Travel.
The night also saw the induction into the CLIA Hall of Fame of former Carnival Australian chief executive Ann Sherry (pictured below), in recognition of her pivotal role in the industry’s success over more than a decade.
Speaking on the night, CLIA Australasia managing director Joel Katz acknowledged the awards as a celebration of all things cruise, and a chance to shine a spotlight on the best and brightest in the more than $5 billion cruise industry.
“It’s also an opportunity for us to unite, and reflect on some of the challenges facing our guests and colleagues at present,” he said, speaking in part of the current COVID-19 coronavirus crisis, which continues to impact tourism and the flow of tourists in Australia and internationally.
“Our industry is highly responsive, responsible and resilient,” he said. “Fortunately, most cruises around the world are operating as usual, and the extra measures CLIA Cruise Lines have put in place globally will help to reassure travellers.”
Katz also pointed to the return of cruise ships, as well as more visits, to bushfire affected communities as one of the highlights of the year. The opening of the Brisbane International Cruise Terminal in late 2020, Katz explained, will perhaps be the season’s biggest landmark.
“Around the same time, New Zealand will welcome the opening of a dedicated cruise wharf at the Port of Lyttelton, serving the city of Christchurch, representing a major step forward for the Canterbury region as it recovers from the earthquakes,” he announced to applause.
Here are all the winners from the 19th annual Cruise Industry Awards:
- Agency Promotion of the Year, New Zealand: Cruise Sale Finder
- Agency Promotion of the Year, Australia: Megan Catterall, itravel
- Network Promotion of the Year, Australasia: MTA – Mobile Travel Agents
- Cruise Month Promotion of the Year, Australasia: House of Travel Cruise
- Media Award, Australasia: Helen Anderson
- Rising Star, New Zealand: Charlotte Chalman, House of Travel Lakers Gore
- Rising Star, Australia: Bryan Andersen, My Cruises
- Broker of the Year, New Zealand: Andrew Lennox, Flight Centre Travel Broker
- Home Based/Mobile Agent of the Year, Australia: Robyn Sinfield, Home Travel Company
- Cruise Champion, Australasia: Jeff Leckey, House of Travel
- Cruise Consultant of the Year, New Zealand: Lorraine Van Veen, House of Travel Botany Junction
- Cruise Consultant of the Year, Australia: Julie Avery, Brighton Travelworld
- Online Cruise Agency of the Year, New Zealand: Cruise Sale Finder
- Online Cruise Agency of the Year, Australia: Cruise Guru
- Small Cruise Agency of the Year, New Zealand: Pukekohe Travel
- Small Cruise Agency of the Year, Australia: New Farm Travel
- Large Cruise Agency of the Year, New Zealand: Helloworld Lambton Quay/St Heliers/Mt Eden/Botany
- Large Cruise Agency of the Year, Australia: Bicton Travel
- CLIA Hall of Fame: Ann Sherry AO.