Carnival President Christine Duffy Gets CLIA Award

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Carnival President Christine Duffy is honored with the CLIA Lifetime Achievement Award 2024.

Global travel industry champion and Carnival Cruise Line President Christine Duffy’s significant contributions to cruise travel are being recognized with the Cruise Lines International Association’s Lifetime Achievement Award for 2024. Duffy was honored at the 2024 CLIA Hall of Fame Cruise Industry Awards at CLIA’s recent Cruise360 conference in Fort Lauderdale, where she was inducted into CLIA’s Hall of Fame and introduced by Josh Weinstein, president, chief executive officer and chief climate officer of Carnival Corporation & plc.

In a career that included becoming the first woman president and CEO of Maritz Travel Company, the world’s largest corporate meeting, events and incentive travel company, Duffy only went up from there, serving as chair of the U.S. Travel Association and joining Carnival after a successful tenure as president and CEO of CLIA.

Steering the flagship brand of Miami-based Carnival Corp., Duffy leads more than 48,000 Carnival Cruise Line team members who deliver fun and memorable cruises to more than 5.5 million guests each year. Duffy is at the helm of all operations across Carnival’s fleet of 27 ships sailing from 14 U.S. homeports and two homeports in Australia, where she also oversees the operations of three ships that sail for P&O Cruises Australia.

“I’ve felt my whole life that travel is the industry for me and while I may have missed the height requirement when I applied to become a flight attendant early in my career, I’m delighted and grateful that my work in the cruise industry has taken me to heights I never imagined,” Duffy said in a media announcement. “I share this honor with my Carnival family and remind everyone in our industry that our work has great impact and contributes to what are often the most memorable moments in people’s lives. Our industry generates tens of billions of dollars of economic activity and innovation every year, and we have great momentum that makes me very optimistic for our future.”

Duffy Leads Carnival Though Fleet and Destination Expansion

Duffy continues to usher Carnival through rapid growth, with the acquisition of five new ships in a period of two years. The cruise line’s fleet expansion continues with two more of its largest and most innovative Excel-class ships in 2027 and 2028. She’s also currently focused on the development of the cruise line’s new exclusive destination, Celebration Key, which opens in July 2025.

Under Duffy’s leadership, Carnival became the first major U.S. cruise line to have its entire fleet back in operations after the industry-wide pause related to the COVID pandemic. Part of that restart coincided with Carnival’s implementation of Liquefied Natural Gas, with Carnival’s Mardi Gras becoming the first LNG-powered cruise ship in North America—as well as bringing cruise ship attractions to new heights with the first rollercoaster at sea. Duffy’s tenure also includes several major milestones in the company’s history, including the year-long celebration of its 50th birthday in 2022 and the moment it welcomed its 100 millionth guest on board in 2023.

Duffy’s Focus on Keeping the Travel Industry Afloat

Another first: Christine Duffy is Carnival’s first woman president and has served in this role since 2015 while simultaneously advocating for the entire cruise industry—including an appointment by the Secretary of Commerce to the United States Travel and Tourism Advisory Board. In addition, while leading Maritz, she played an important role with industry leaders and U.S. Travel during the financial crisis of 2008, raising awareness about the importance of business travel and solidifying support in Washington.

Her leadership led to a number of initiatives, including the first-ever public/private partnership to promote international travel to the U.S., creating what is known today as Brand USA. Throughout her career, Duffy has been a strong supporter of women’s leadership in the travel industry, leading initiatives that delivered research and programs to help women advance their careers.

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