Holland America Line president Orlando Ashford will be one of the keynote speakers at this year’s Clia Conference.

Steve Born, chief marketing officer at Group Voyagers, which markets Globus brands like Avalon Waterways, will also speak at the event in April 25-27.


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More than 700 agents are expected to attend the Southampton conference, which will celebrate ‘cruise heroes’ who “go above and beyond to create incredible holidays”.

The trade association is asking agent members to nominate their cruise hero by explaining why they are important to their career. Cruise heroes can be a colleague, former colleague or someone within the industry who impacted their career.

Clia said many speakers would remain under wraps until the conference sessions at Southampton Guildhall started.

Agent delegates will also be able to book visits to view P&O Cruises’ Britannia and MSC Cruises’ MSC Meraviglia and attend two workshops; one focussed on social media and marketing and the other on sales skills.

Clia UK & Ireland director Andy Harmer said: “If you look at the year we have got coming up, it is important agents know how to use social media platforms that are available to them.”

“There is no restriction in terms of space but if you want get on a ship or a workshop it is best to book early.”

A charity five-a-side football tournament will be held at the conference on Saturday April 25. All proceeds will go to the Family Holiday Association, which provides struggling families with a holiday.

A ‘We Love River Cruise’ party will also be held on Sunday April 26.

Nominate a cruise hero here.