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New speakers announced for 2015 Cruise Down Under Conference

July 23, 2015 Conferences No Comments Email Email

Additional speakers have confirmed their attendance at this year’s Cruise Down Under Conference, adding to the already stellar line-up of keynote presenters.

The 2015 Cruise Down Under Conference titled “Uniting Australia’s Cruise Future” will be held from 2-4 September at the Hilton Darwin.

The additional speakers are all highly respected in their fields and include: Sheldon Thompson, Worldwide Port Operations and Product Operations Manager for RCL, who will examine supply and logistics issues for new generation ships; Grant Gilfillan, CEO Port Authority NSW, who will discuss the impacts of port privatisation on the cruise sector; and Frances-Anne Keeler, Deputy Chief Executive Officer, Tourism Australia, who will provide an insight into the organisation’s strategy for selling Australia to traditional markets such as North America and Europe.

Celebrating its 19th year in 2015, the conference, sponsored by Tourism NT, Darwin Port Corporation and Tourism Top End, is shaping up to be one of the strongest programs delivered to date cementing its position as the key cruise industry event in Australia.

The conference will run over 2 ½ days and includes both plenary and workshop sessions exploring a range of topics including a global and local snapshot of the industry and where it is headed in the future; emerging markets – with a focus on China – and what this means for business; destination development, ports and infrastructure and how these play a critical role in the success of the industry long term; environmental regulations; and logistics, supplies and provisions.

The additional speakers join the existing four confirmed keynote speakers; Claudius Docekal, Vice-President, Deployment, Crystal Cruises; Rich Pruitt, Vice President, Safety and Environmental Stewardship, Royal Caribbean Cruises; Darius Mehta, Director Land Programs, Silversea; and Michael Hackman, Executive Vice President, Marine Operations & New Ship Building, Star Cruises.

This key industry conference will offer delegates the opportunity to further their knowledge of the industry, meet key cruise line executives and decision makers and provide a first-hand understanding of this continuously expanding and highly competitive market.

An introduction to cruise workshop has been included in the program to assist with bringing new businesses up to speed on the industry prior to the plenary sessions on the Thursday.

The conference is the major cruise industry event in Australia and should not be missed. Registrations are open to both members and non-members of CDU.

The conference program and online registration is available on the CDU website –

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