Italian conference at sea to host 150 agents on Carnival Horizon, Harry Kemble reports

Almost 150 agents boarded new ship Carnival Horizon this week to hear from senior cruise industry figures during a two‑night conference.

Of the 144 agents attending the Broaden Your Horizon‑themed conference, starting on Wednesday (April 18), 91 define themselves as “non-cruise experts” and more than 75% have never been on a Carnival vessel before.

The conference takes place as the 3,960-passenger vessel sails from Naples to Livorno in Italy, following its launch this month.

The event, run in partnership with Clia and Travel Weekly, features guest speakers, business sessions and networking opportunities.

The line’s president, Christine Duffy, has flown in from the US to attend the ship launch and welcome agents on board.

Iain Baillie, Carnival Cruise Line’s vice-president of international sales; Tony Roberts, Princess Cruises’ vice-president for the UK and Europe; Ben Bouldin, Royal Caribbean International’s associate vice-president and managing director for the UK and Ireland; and Steve Williams, MSC Cruises’ director of sales, will be discussing attracting first-time cruisers in a session moderated by Travel Weekly editor-in-chief Lucy Huxley.

Baillie said: “At Carnival Cruise Line, we know that travel agents rock. We want to support them as much as we can through forward-thinking initiatives such as this, which not only educates them, but allows them to experience the Carnival Cruise Line product at the same time.”

Guest speaker Oliver Yeates, chief executive of Clicky Media, will talk about how to use social and digital media to reach new cruise audiences.

Delegates can experience Horizon’s SkyRide, where passengers can pedal round a track while suspended 150ft 
above sea level.

They will also have the chance to win a seven-night cruise from New York. To enter, agents will have to document their time on the ship during the conference in photos.

Andy Harmer, Clia UK & Ireland’s senior vice-president, said: “It is tremendously beneficial to be able to talk about some of the innovations that are transforming the cruise industry, while enjoying the facilities on this new ship.

“The Broaden Your Horizon conference is the ultimate mix of cruising, industry insights and learning.”