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Heaney appointed CFO at Carnival Cruise Line

James Heaney, an experienced financial executive with more than 25 years in the cruise and hospitality industries, has been named senior vice president and chief financial officer for Miami-based Carnival Cruise Line, the world’s largest cruise operator.

In this capacity, Heaney will be responsible for all of the company’s financial, accounting and information technology functions. He joins Carnival June 22 reporting to President Christine Duffy.

“Jim is the ideal candidate for this role, previously holding key leadership positions in a wide range of well-known cruise and hospitality brands, as well as global experience in finance, revenue management, IT and travel operations, all of which will be a tremendous asset to our company,” Duffy said.

Before joining Carnival, Heaney spent three years as CFO for SeaWorld Entertainment, Inc., responsible for overseeing the company’s financial organization.  He previously held a number of executive financial positions, including CFO and senior vice president of finance and travel operations, at Disney Cruise Line where he worked for 17 years. Prior to that, Heaney held various financial posts at Royal Caribbean Cruises, as well as Pueblo International, which operated a large Florida-based grocery store chain, and Gould, Inc., a manufacturer of super mini-computers used primarily for military application.

Heaney earned a bachelor’s of science in business administration from Texas Tech University as well as a master’s of business administration from the University of Florida. 

Doubling of Australian market by 2020 on horizon

The Australian cruise market, which grew by 20.4% to reach 1.00 million passengers, may double in size by 2020 if it only maintained half the growth rate of the past 12 years.

"The landmark achievement of one million passengers in a calendar year comes six years before originally anticipated, and has been driven by an impressive 20% annual average growth for the past 12 years,' CLIA Australasia said in a statement.

“Five years ago, the industry thought that it might be possible to achieve one million passengers a year by 2020 – to reach that number in 2014 is an amazing result and shows the true passion Australians have for cruise holidays. If our growth rate continues at just 12.5% for the next six years, we will reach two million passengers by 2020,” said CLIA Australasia Chairman Gavin Smith in a statement.

Ann Sherry, head of Carnival Australia that operates Carnival Corp & plc group's brands in the country, has said that in Australia cruising does not have the same image problem that it suffers from in many other countries, where it is viewed mainly as a holiday option for an older and wealthier clientele.

In Australia, companies such as P&O Cruises and now no longer extant Sitmar Cruises, Chandris Cruises and CTC Lines offered inexpensive cruises from the 1970s onwards, sometimes on vessels whose main business had been carrying emigrants in basic accommodations. This meant that cruising never acquired an image that it mainly suits for the elderly and the wealthy.

Australian cruise market passes 1.0 million mark, six years ahead of forecast

The Australian source market for cruises grew by 20.4% in 2014 and reached 1,003,256 passengers, exceeding the one million mark for the first time and reaching this level six years ahead of forecasts, CLIA Australasia said in a statement.

"The record result confirms Australia’s position as the world’s fastest growing source of cruise passengers, with numbers surging 20.4% last year to reach 1,003,256 cruisers. The landmark achievement of one million passengers in a calendar year comes six years before originally anticipated, and has been driven by an impressive 20% annual average growth for the past 12 years,' CLIA said.

Ann Sherry, head of Carnival Australia that operates  Carnival Corp & plc group's brands in the country, has said that in Australia cruising does not have the same image problem that it suffers from in many other countries, where it is viewed mainly as a holiday option for an older and wealthier clientele.

The new figures also show Australia has retained its position as the world leader for market penetration, with the equivalent of 4.2% of Australians taking a cruise last year, significantly ahead of the well-established North American market, which ranked second with a market penetration rate of 3.4%.

Released in Sydney today at the newly refurbished Overseas Passenger Terminal, the 2014 Australian Cruise Industry Source Market Report is produced by Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) Australasia, based on data received from its cruise line members, which account for more than 95 %  of the world’s cruise passengers.

Speaking at the report launch, CLIA Australasia Chairman Gavin Smith said Australians’ enthusiasm for cruising was unparalleled around the world, with France the only other major world market to achieve double digit growth (13.6% ) in 2014.

Smith said Australia’s achievement of 20.4% growth represented an increase of 170,000 passengers compared to 2013, the largest rise in real numbers since CLIA first began collating passenger data in 2002. "Australia is now the fourth largest source market in the world for cruise passengers, accounting for 4.5% of world cruisers, behind North America (54.2% ), Germany (8%) and UK/Ireland (7.4%).

“These figures show that more and more Australians are realising that cruising is an easy, relaxing way to holiday which represents incredible value for money,” Smith said. “The expansion of our industry in recent years means there’s now a huge range of ships and itineraries on offer across the globe and I think Australians, who are inveterate travellers, are responding by increasingly factoring a cruise into their holiday plans.”


CLIA names Thomas P. Ostebo as President and CEO

Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) today announced Thomas P. Ostebo will join CLIA as President and Chief Executive Officer, effective July 6, 2015. Selected by CLIA’s Global Executive Committee, Ostebo will oversee CLIA operations both domestically and internationally, working directly with his senior leadership team to execute the organization’s vision and work on behalf of CLIA members.

A seasoned senior executive leader, Ostebo has more than 30 years of experience leading large, sophisticated and complex organizations. He joins CLIA from the United States Coast Guard where he served as Rear Admiral. Most recently, Ostebo was Director of Strategic Management where he supported strategy and budget policy for the Coast Guard. Ostebo also served as Commander for the Coast Guard 17th District and led all Coast Guard Operations in Alaska, the Arctic and North Pacific where he was responsible for protecting life and property, enforcing federal laws and treaties, preserving the living marine resources and promoting national security.

“After a thorough search process, we are thrilled to announce the appointment of our new President and CEO, Thomas Ostebo,” said Global CLIA Chairman, Adam M. Goldstein. “Tom brings years of outstanding maritime and strategic business leadership experience to this important position that leads the cruise industry’s global association. We are confident CLIA will thrive under his direction for years to come. More importantly, Tom’s strong communication skills and energy made him the ideal person for this role.”

Ostebo will lead CLIA’s work to help all its members succeed and unify, represent, advocate and promote the common interests of the global cruise industry. Among his priorities, he will continue to enhance the Travel Agency, Individual Travel Agent and Executive Partner member programs that were introduced in fall 2014, as well as the new Travel Agent professional development training. Ostebo will be located at CLIA global headquarters in Washington D.C., and work with CLIA’s 15 offices across the globe, including Abremar-Brasil, Alaska, Australasia, Belgium & Luxembourg, Europe, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, North America, North Asia, North West & Canada, Southeast Asia, Spain and UK & Ireland.

“I am incredibly humbled, honored and excited to join an industry with such a rich history of success and growth. This appointment is a perfect next step in my career as it allows me to leverage my experiences and passions, from leading large complex teams to advocating for marine resources,” said Ostebo. “CLIA currently has a strong foundation and outstanding senior leadership, so I look forward to building upon this and providing new strategies and approaches to move CLIA and the cruise industry forward. Ultimately, my goal is to perform meaningful work and build strong relationships.”

The appointment follows the departure of Christine Duffy, former CLIA President and Chief Executive Officer, on January 31, 2015. CLIA relied on the services of executive search firm Heidrick & Struggles to lead the search for a new President and CEO.

Genting Hong Kong completes acquisition of Crystal Cruises, announces new Chairman and management positions

Genting Hong Kong (GHK) today announced that it has completed the acquisition of “The World’s Most Awarded and Best Luxury Cruise Line,” Crystal Cruises (Crystal), from Nippon Yusen Kabushiki Kaisha (NYK), for a total transaction of US$550 million. GHK also announced a new Chairman of Crystal and promotions for Crystal’s current senior management team, guaranteeing a streamlined transition and virtually no interruption in operations and ensuring award-winning service.

Tan Sri Lim Kok Thay, Executive Chairman of the Genting Group and the former Chairman of Norwegian Cruise Line, assumes the position of Chairman of Crystal, replacing Nobuyoshi Kuzuya who will return to NYK in a key executive position. Edie Rodriguez, a 34-year travel industry veteran who was previously President and Chief Operating Officer will be promoted to President and Chief Executive Officer. Thomas Mazloum, a 20-plus year veteran of Crystal’s management team who was previously Executive Vice-President will be promoted to Chief Operating Officer.

“Genting Hong Kong is delighted and honored to add Crystal to our global hospitality and leisure brands,” said Tan Sri Lim Kok Thay. “We will ensure Crystal’s reputation as “The World’s Best and Most Awarded Luxury Cruise Line,” by maintaining its integrity and work to continue elevating its status as the highest standard of luxury cruising. The current management team and crew will continue to lead Crystal’s six-star operation while Genting will provide the financial resources and proven expertise in innovative ship design to deliver a new ultra-luxury ocean vessel by 2018.”

“We are extremely grateful for the unwavering support of our former parent company, NYK and the wonderful leadership and guidance of Mr. Kuzuya,” said Rodriguez. “We look forward to ushering in a new era of luxury cruising with Genting Hong Kong’s support. With the support of GHK and its reputation for creating world-renowned leisure, entertainment and exquisite hospitality properties, Crystal is set to embark upon new opportunities that will expand our offerings for our guests and travel partners, as well as broader opportunities for our wonderful team of Crystal employees on land and at sea.

Established in 1993, GHK is part of the Genting Group, a global hospitality and leisure company with business in over 20 countries, including the United States in New York, Florida and Nevada. GHK wholly owns Star Cruises, “The Leading Cruise Line in Asia Pacific”, and is a major shareholder of Norwegian Cruise Line. GHK is a public company primarily listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange and secondarily on the Singapore Stock Exchange.

Crystal Cruises’ first award-winning luxury vessel, Crystal Harmony embarked in 1990, with sister ships Crystal Symphony and Crystal Serenity joining the fleet in 1995 and 2003, respectively.  Since Crystal Harmony’s retirement in 2005, the line has operated its enriching global itineraries with the two remaining ships, often pioneering cruise ship access to ports and experiences throughout the world.  Continuing innovative momentum, in 2016, Crystal will be the first large luxury cruise line to navigate the elusive Northwest Passage, while in 2018, the cruise line will expand its coveted World Cruise portfolio with four separate global itineraries.

Crystal Cruises’ passion for delivering six star service in an inviting environment of extraordinary space, quality and choices has earned the company more “World’s Best” awards than any other cruise line, resort, or hotel in history.  Crystal Cruises has won “World’s Best Cruise Ship” in Condé Nast Traveler’s Reader Choice Awards for 21 years; voted “World’s Best Large Ship Cruise Line” by Travel + Leisure readers for 19-consecutive years; and the “Best Luxury Cruise Line” by Virtuoso.