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CLIA Applauds 2013 Cruise Awards Winners

February 11, 2014 Photo Gallery No Comments Email Email

Australian winnersCruise Lines International Association (CLIA) Australasia held its annual night of nights on Saturday, celebrating another impressive year of cruising success at the 2013 Cruise Industry Awards.

The first awards night to be held under the CLIA banner, the event marked a big year of achievements with 14 winners announced across six categories including the inaugural CLIA Hall of Fame inductee.

The top award of the night, the Australian Cruise Agency of the Year award, went to Western Australia’s Bicton Travel for the third time with the ACT’s Ozcruising picking up silver and Cruise Express Balmain winning bronze.

Bicton Travel’s Phil Smethurst said he was thrilled the agency had won the gold award.

“We have a team of 21 people who do an amazing job and this award represents them as a whole, so it’s perfect,” Mr Smethurst said.

Cruiseco CEO Steve Lloyd was named the inaugural inductee to the new CLIA Hall of Fame for his outstanding 45 years of service to the Australasian cruise industry. He was inducted alongside past winners of the Neil Frazer Award, which the new Hall of Fame award has replaced.

Accepting his award, Mr Lloyd thanked all those who had helped and mentored him in his long career in the travel industry, singling out Cruiseco co-founders Phil Hoffman and Kevin Dale, and praising Cruiseco’s agents.

“The hero of Cruiseco is our brilliant, informed agents in Australia and elsewhere in the world – without them we are absolutely nothing,” Mr Lloyd said.

CLIA Australasia Chairman Gavin Smith said the annual awards night allowed the association and its 32 member cruise lines the chance to applaud local agents for their outstanding contribution to the booming cruise industry.

“In the wake of another record year of cruising, the Cruise Awards offer a great way to recognise the important role that travel agents play in the ongoing growth and success of our industry,” Mr Smith said.

“One of the reasons we are up there with the biggest and fastest growing cruise markets in the world is because of Australian and New Zealand agents’ passion and commitment to our industry.”

More than 400 industry members attended the gala event at Sydney’s new Doltone House on Hyde Park.

The event was hosted by Channel 7 sportscaster and host of AFL Game Day Hamish McLachlan, with Winners & Losers actress Melanie Vallejo bringing some red-carpet glamour to the evening as co-host.

Under a new format, live interviews with winners and sponsors were broadcast on large screens in the venue while guests were entertained with musical performances and presentations worthy of theatres at sea and an after party, which allowed celebrations to cruise well into the night.

For a full list of winners please see the following page. For more information visit

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