(8:00 a.m. AEST) — The 15th Annual Cruise Industry Awards was held at The Star in Sydney on Saturday night to recognise the best travel agents and agencies in Australian and New Zealand cruising. Organised by Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) Australasia, the gala event saw a surprise performance by superstar Tina Arena, who sang her own hits including ‘I’m in Chains’ as well as a cover of Foreigner’s ‘I Want to Know What Love Is’.
Among the 19 winners were Clean Cruising, awarded Best Online Agency of the Year, ahead of finalists OzCruising and ecruising; and MTA’s Tracey Flower, who was recognised as Mobile Agent of the Year.
Kara Lane, from ecruising, was named Cruise Consultant of the Year in Australia; and in NZ, the winner was Kylie Gutierrez, of Cruiseabout Pukekohe.
Western Australia’s Bicton Travel won Gold Agency of the Year for the fifth time. Travelrite International took out the Silver Award while King William Travel won Bronze.
In New Zealand, Cruise Agency of the Year was House of Travel Orewa and Online Agency of the Year was Cruise Republic.
Scenic Founder Glen Moroney was also welcomed into the CLIA Hall of Fame for his pioneering work in the river cruise sector.
CLIA Australasia Chairman Gavin Smith said the 2015 awards dinner had been the best yet.
“Every year cruising in the Australasian region continues to evolve and it’s due to the tireless efforts of many in the industry. These awards are all about celebrating and applauding the hard work, passion and dedication of some of the most important players in the cruise industry — the travel agents who sell our cruises,” Smith said.