CLIA announces dates for 2019 conference in Southampton

Delegates will be able to visit Celebrity Edge at the CLIA event

CLIA UK & Ireland has announced that its 2019 conference will take place on 15, 16 and 17 May in Southampton next year.

The three-day event, the largest travel agent event in the UK, will include a trade fair, a full day of conference sessions and gala dinner including entertainment. Plus, delegates will have the chance to visit to visit two of the three ships in port for the event: Celebrity Edge which launches in Miami in December this year, Cunard’s Queen Mary 2 and MSC Preziosa.

On Wednesday May 15, agents will get the chance to visit Celebrity Edge, on her second visit to the UK after her launch in December 2018, or alternatively, agents can visit MSC Preziosa, the first time an MSC ship has been available on one of the main conference days.  That afternoon, all delegates will attend the cruise trade fair.

“Ship visits play a huge role in the event”

Andy Harmer, CLIA UK & Ireland director, said: “We are thrilled to be able to offer agents the opportunity to visit these fabulous ships at our 2019 conference.  Ship visits play a huge role in the event and we are delighted to give agents to the chance to explore these amazing examples of modern cruising.”

The final day of the event will be held aboard QM2

On Thursday 16 May, delegates will attend a full day of conference sessions, featuring high profile speakers from across the cruise industry, as well as keynotes from outside the sector. In the evening there’ll be a gala dinner with entertainment, both the conference and evening events will be held at new venues.

The final day, Friday 17 May, will be held onboard Queen Mary 2, and will include a special closing conference session, which last year heard from record-breaking explorer, Sir Ranulph Fiennes. Further details of the venues, theme and speakers will be announced in the build-up to the event.

The event will be open to CLIA member travel agents, with registration open from September 12; early bookers will get the chance to choose the ship they visit on the Wednesday 15 May.

This year’s conference, which was themed #GenerationCruise, attracted a record 650 delegates. Previous speakers at the conference have included CLIA global chair Arnold Donald, Royal Caribbean’s Adam Goldstein, Andy Stuart from NCL, and MSC’s Gianni Onorato.

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