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Winners of 2017 Cruise Industry Awards announced

February 26, 2018 Headline News No Comments Email Email

Some 500 members and partners of the Australian and New Zealand industry gathered at the Star Event Centre Sydney on Saturday to celebrate the achievements of the Australasian cruise industry, as Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) Australasia revealed the winners of the 17th Annual Cruise Industry Awards.

The biggest night on the cruise calendar was a particularly big night for Perth travel agency Bicton Travel, which claimed the top gong in Australia for the fifth year in a row, notching up an unprecedented seven gold Cruise Agency of the Year awards in total.

Managing director of Bicton Travel, Carole Smethurst, said the secret of the agency’s success was “sticking to our principles of continually training our staff with CLIA accredited training to look after our clients. We put the right people on the right cruises which ensures they are happy customers!”

Cruiseabout Kew was awarded silver and Phil Hoffman Travel took out bronze in addition to Network Promotion of the Year– Australasia for the South Australian agency’s “Mega Cruise Sales Day”.

In New Zealand, Bon Voyage Cruises & Travel won its first gold Agency of the Year award, with House of Travel Orewa taking out silver and last year’s winner, Pukekohe Travel, rounding out the cruise agency accolades with bronze.

Director of Bon Voyage Cruises & Travel, Gerard Murphy, spoke of his pride at winning the New Zealand gold Agency of the Year award. “We have got great people on the team and our suppliers back our innovation 100%.”

Meanwhile Clean Cruising cleaned up in two categories, wining Online Agency of the Year – Australia, and taking out the Australian Agency Promotion award.

Here they are! Winners of the 17th annual Cruise Industry Awards

A total of 20 awards were presented over the course of the evening including the latest entrant to the CLIA Hall of Fame – Ted Blamey. A pioneer of the local cruise industry, Blamey’s 30-year cruise career spanned from managing director of Sitmar Cruises Australasia to president and chief executive of Sitmar International, chief executive of Australia’s largest retail travel group Ansett Retail/Traveland and Chairman of Sydney Ports. Now, as head of CHART Management Consultants, Blamey advises global cruise lines, destinations and government authorities.

CLIA Australasia & Asia managing director Joel Katz said it was a stellar evening befitting the stars of the local cruise industry.

“The CLIAs’ are all about recognising and rewarding the outstanding achievements of member agents who have had a big year of cruise and done their part to contribute to the incredible growth of the industry,” Mr Katz said.

“We’d like to congratulate all the winners, finalists and also offer a special round of applause to all those who entered or were nominated. With so much great work right across the Australasian cruise industry in 2017, these awards are as important as ever and we’re thrilled to have the opportunity to shine a light on so many talented and passionate individuals.”

Sunrise newsreader Natalie Barr hosted the evening for the first time and the sell-out audience were treated to a show-stopping performance by the incredible “Burn The Floor” dance troupe ahead of their Australian tour this year.

The major sponsors of the 2017 awards were Dubai Tourism, Emirates, World’s Leading Cruise Lines, Norwegian Cruise Line and Royal Caribbean.

17th Annual Cruise Industry Awards, Saturday 24 February 2018


Cruise Agency of the Year – Australia

Bicton Travel WA – GOLD

Cruiseabout Kew VIC –

SILVER Phil Hoffmann Travel SA – BRONZE


Cruise Agency of the Year – New Zealand

Bon Voyage Cruise & Travel – GOLD House of Travel Orewa – SILVER Pukekohe Travel – BRONZE

Cruise Consultant of the Year – Australia

Kathy Pavlidis, Cruiseabout Kew


Cruise Consultant of the Year – New Zealand

Mark Smith, Let’s Cruise

Online Agency of the Year – Australia

Clean Cruising


Online Agency of the Year – New Zealand

Cruise Sale Finder NZ

Mobile Agent of the Year – Australia

Sarah Fenton, MTA – Mobile Travel Agents


Broker of the Year – New Zealand Denise Fowler, The Travel Brokers
Rising Star Award – Australia Kye Duffy, Our Vacation Centre


Rising Star Award – New Zealand Simon Matthews, Cruiseabout New Plymouth
Agency Promotion of the Year – Australia Clean Cruising “Princess Cruises 2019 World Cruise” Agency Promotion of the Year – New Zealand

Midday Travel “Never Compromising Antarctica Expedition”


Network Promotion of the Year – Australasia Phil Hoffmann Travel “Mega Cruise Sales Day”


Plan A Cruise Month Promotion – Australasia

Mobile Travel Agents “Plan A Cruise Month”

Media Award

John & Kerry Treacy, “Introducing MSC Meraviglia – the 8th Wonder of The World” – Worldwide Cruising News

Hall of Fame

Ted Blamey

Edited by Peter Needham

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