Rapper Drake wasn’t the only reason people were rushing to The Star in Sydney on Saturday, as hundreds of industry folk gathered for this year’s cruise awards.
Hosted for the second year in a row by TV presenter Hamish McLachlan and actress Melanie Vallejo, the evening celebrated the local industry’s top agents and commemorated the end of Cruise Lines International Association’s (CLIA) second annual Cruise3sxity Australasia conference.
This year, the Cruise Industry Awards night was almost twice as large as previous years, with more awards, more attendees and bigger entertainment.
World’s Leading Cruise Lines opened the evening with a grand performance made up of singing, dancing, sailor hats and acrobats.
The group’s very own Jennifer Vandekreeke (Carnival Cruise Lines Australia GM) even joined in on the dance, while other company heads made their way to the stage.
Following the first performance, Hamish ran through eight awards, which saw agents recognised for marketing and promotional activities and their contributions to the industry.
Between awards, the industry took time out to honour cruise veteran Shannon Currie who recently passed away.
Shannon received the ‘Post Humous award’, which was accepted by a colleague who had travelled across the Tasman for the event.
Royal Caribbean invited one of its Australia-based employees to perform an incredible number before dinner was served.
Hamish then returned to the stage to announce the remaining 11 award winners.
For the first time, Martine Hero from Clean Cruise in Queensland took out the award for ‘Cruise Consultant of the Year’ in Australia; while Mark Smith from Lets Cruise won the award for New Zealand for the second time.
Bicton Travel in WA reclaimed its title of ‘Cruise Agency of the Year – Australia’ for the fourth consecutive year. And Pukekohe Travel took out the award for the first time in New Zealand.
Bicton Travel founder, Carole Smethurst said she was honoured to win the prestigious award once again.
“I didn’t expect to win it again. We have fantastic cruise partners and I have such fantastic staff at home and they all deserve this.”
Carole Smethurt, Bicton Travel founder
Meanwhile, Mark Smith from Lets Cruise in New Zealand said he wasn’t expecting to win ‘Cruise Consultant of the Year – New Zealand’ especially after having previously won in 2010.
Once all winning consultants had accepted their awards, CLIA ended the show with a special performance from two of Australia’s talented divas, Sabrina Batshon and Kat Jade from The Voice Australia.
Congratulations to all the winners!
For the full list of winners see below and to check out more images from the evening be sure to check out KarryOn’s Facebook page.
Agency Promotion of the Year – New Zealand: House of Travel Nelson ‘The Biggest Cruise Event of 2014
Agency Promotion of the Year – Australia: Holiday & Cruise Centre, Ballarat VIC ‘Brand the Bus Campaign’
Network Promotion of the Year – Australasia: United Travel (NZ) ‘Cruise Insider Magazine’
Rising Star Award – New Zealand: Victoria Sherry, Cruiseabout Ponsonby
Rising Star Award – Australia: Ashleigh Fountain, Ozcruising ACT
Media Award – Angie Kelly ‘The Sea Day Diaries’ in the Sun Herald Traveller
Broker of the Year – New Zealand: Andrew Lennox, Flight Centre Travel Broker
Home Based/Mobile Agency of the Year – Australia: Wendy Allen, MTA
Online Agency of the Year – New Zealand: iCruise Auckland
Online Agency of the Year – Australia: Ozcruising
Cruise Consultant of the Year – New Zealand: Mark Smith, Lets Cruise
Cruise Consultant of the Year – Australia: Martine Hero, Clean Cruising QLD
Cruise Agency of the Year – New Zealand:
Gold – Pukekohe Travel
Silver – Cruiseabout Howick
Bronze – Business World Travel, Wellington
Cruise Agency of the Year – Australia:
Gold – Bicton Travel, Perth WA
Silver – Cruise Express, Balmain NSW
Bronze – Phil Hoffman Travel, Glenelg South Australia
Hall of Fame: Ian McMahen – travel journalist
Did you attend this year’s award? What did you think of the night and winners?
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