Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) has announced details of its upcoming Cruise360 Australasia conference, celebrating cruising’s revival Down Under with a packed program exploring renewal, opportunities, evolution, and authenticity.
Hosted by television and radio presenter James O’Loghlin, this year’s Cruise360 conference will be held in Sydney on August 25, providing the Australasian cruise community with its first opportunity to reunite in more than two years.
The conference will be opened virtually by CLIA Global Chairman and MSC Cruises Executive Chairman Pierfrancesco Vago and will include a keynote address by Uniworld Boutique River Cruises President & CEO Ellen Bettridge.
For the first time, Cruise360 will include the new President of Carnival Australia and P&O Cruises Australia, Marguerite Fitzgerald, joining other cruise line leaders in a state of the industry panel. The conference will also feature CLIA Australasia Chairman and the Vice President & Managing Director of Norwegian Cruise Line APAC, Ben Angell, plus insight from respected Australasian travel agency leaders, cruise line innovators, sales experts and expedition operators.
CLIA Managing Director Australasia Joel Katz said this year’s Cruise360 Australasia conference came at a pivotal time for the region’s cruise sector and would focus on preparing attendees for renewed success.
“More than ever before, Cruise360 Australasia will allow us to reunite around the future and share real insight into the new opportunities emerging from cruising’s global revival,” Mr Katz said. “Every aspect of our program has been designed to give travel agents the edge when it comes to understanding the new landscape we operate in and the evolutions happening in cruise markets.”
Key sessions at Cruise360 Australasia 2022 will include:
State of the Industry – a leaders’ panel session exploring the industry’s renewal and resilience as operations resume in Australasia, with Marguerite Fitzgerald (President, Carnival Australia and P&O Cruises Australia), Gavin Smith (Vice President & Managing Director, Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd) and Steve Odell (Senior Vice President & Managing Director Asia Pacific, Regent Seven Seas Cruises & Oceania Cruises).
Opportunities Abound: Making the Most of Cruising’s Revival – a keynote presentation by Ellen Bettridge (President & CEO, Uniworld Boutique River Cruises), exploring the growing opportunities for travel agents through renewed demand, new demographics and market evolutions.
New Age Cruising: The Evolution of Cruise – a panel of cruise line experts discussing new innovations, new concepts and the new expectations of guests, moderated by Jill Abel (Chief Executive Officer, Australian Cruise Association), with Michael Mihajlov (Director, Destination Management, Carnival Australia), Tim Jones (Vice President & Managing Director, Australia & APAC, Celebrity Cruises), Nicole Costantin (Head of Sales, Australia, New Zealand & Asia, Explora
Journeys), Lisa Bolton (General Manager, Product Development, Scenic Cruises and Tours) and Sharon Hando (Director of Sales, Virgin Voyages/Travel the World).
Rebuilding and Looking to the Future – a CLIA travel agent panel confronting the challenges faced by travel agents and foundations for optimism, moderated by Phil Hoffmann (Managing Director, Phil Hoffmann Travel), with Melinda Gregor (Director, Gregor and Lewis Bespoke Travel, Noosa), Jeff Leckey (General Manager Cruise, House of Travel New Zealand), and Roslyn Ranse (Travel Manager, itravel – Live 2 Travel).
Searching for Authenticity: The Growth of Experiential Travel – an expedition cruise panel exploring travellers’ increasing passion for authentic experiences and immersion in nature, moderated by Aaron Russ (General Manager, Wild Earth Travel, and Commercial Director, Heritage Expeditions), with Mick Fogg (Director of Expeditions & Destination Development APAC, Ponant), Jeff Gillies (Commercial Director, Coral Expeditions), Annie Inglis (Marine
Biologist, Quark Expeditions), and Steve McLaughlin (Director of Sales APAC, Aurora Expeditions).
Other sessions will be announced soon.
Cruise360 Australasia will be held at the Hyatt Regency Sydney on Thursday August 25, 2022, and will include the Cruise360 Trade Show with more than 40 exhibitors. This year’s Cruise360 Australasia will also feature a new industry-wide welcome cocktail party on the night of Wednesday August 24, open to all conference delegates.