More than 300 agents and media gathered in Southampton today at the first meeting of Cruise Lines International Association UK & Ireland in two years – and were told of two major trade conferences planned for 2022.
The main CLIA Conference will take place in spring next year – again in Southampton – and will include the chance to board ships to experience the industry’s hospitality first hand in the company of leading figures in the cruise world. Dates and more information will be released in due course.
Next year’s RiverView Conference will take place in Budapest from March 20-22. Agents will be offered two nights on river ships and a full day of business sessions and networking. Nine riverboats from different brands will be available, as well as a local excursion and two celebratory dinners. Ahead of that, this year there will a RiverView Week from November 22-26 – a series of virtual events and expert panel discussions.
CLIA is also organising several luxury, expedition and river trips in 2022 for a limited number of agents to help develop their knowledge by having dedicated time with sponsors and experts. More details will follow.
On top of all that, a new-to yacht and sail cruising guide will be published next year including sales tips and an explanation of how the experience differs from traditional ocean cruising. The guide, the latest in CLIA’s ‘new-to’ series, will include destination advice and mini-profiles of the different sail and yacht ships.
The announcements were made during Selling Cruise Day in Southampton, CLIA’s first in-person conference since 2019. A total of 340 delegates attended a trade fair at the new Horizon Cruise Terminal, lunch at Leonardo Royal Southampton Grand Harbour Hotel and an afternoon conference led by CLIA’s Andy Harmer and Travel Weekly’s Lucy Huxley with guest speakers including Ben Bouldin, vice president EMEA at Royal Caribbean Cruises, and Jan Swartz, president of Holland America Group. Dinner and entertainment will follow tonight.
Andy Harmer said: ‘As the positive cruise momentum continues, we’re keeping pace by offering a range of event options for the trade that we’re confident will be engaging, informative and fun. From in-person conferences to residentials to virtual activities, we’ve listened carefully to feedback from across the industry so we can provide the most beneficial and immersive experiences possible.
‘We’re looking forward to offering the tools and know-how that will equip the trade for a rewarding and buoyant cruise market.’