Uniworld boss Ellen Bettridge and explorer Felicity Aston will speak on the final day at the 2019 Clia Conference next month.

The pair will speak on board Cunard ship Queen Mary 2 on Friday May 17 at the conference in Southampton, of which Travel Weekly is media partner.

Bettridge became Uniworld’s president and chief executive in 2016 after joining the luxury line from Azamara Club Cruises, where she was vice president of sales and marketing.

In her role, Bettridge has overseen the launch of both a new cruise line – U by Uniworld – and three new ships in Uniworld’s fleet.

Aston, who is appearing at the conference on behalf of Silversea, is the first and only woman in the world to ski across Antarctica alone.

By completing the 59-day, 1744km journey in January 2012, she became the first woman to cross Antarctica without the aid of kites or machines.

In 2015, she was awarded the Queen’s Polar Medal for services in Antarctica and was appointed MBE for services to polar exploration.

Andy Harmer, Clia UK & Ireland director, said: “Clia is delighted to announce Uniworld’s Ellen Bettridge and expedition leader Felicity Aston as special guest speakers at our flagship conference.

“As a proven leader within the cruise and travel sector, Ellen’s insight knowledge of the ocean and river cruise industry which will be invaluable to Clia travel agents.

“And we are very much looking forward to hearing from Felicity Aston and her fascinating and incredible experiences conquering the polar regions.”

Bettridge and Aston will speak alongside Virgin Voyages’ president and chief executive Tom McAlpin; Larry Pimentel, Azamara Club Cruises’ president and chief executive; Kelly Craighead, Clia president and chief executive; and Lisa Lutoff-Perlo, Celebrity Cruises’ president and chief executive.

A limited number of spaces are still available to Clia travel agent members.

To register for a space, visit cruiseexperts.org