The International Cruise Summit is proud to welcome our special guest Mr. Gianni Onorato, CEO of MSC Cruises for a live one-to-one interview on the stage.

Confirmed speakers

This section will be updated with confirmed speakers

ICS 2014


12th & 13th November 2014

View the speakers of the last three years:



    Virginia Lopez Valiente is the owner and Managing Director of Cruises News Media Group, a company dedicated to communication, marketing and promotion of the Cruise industry.

    Cruises News Media Group edits the magazine Cruises News and organises annually the International Cruise Summit, the Cruise Excellence Awards, Cruise Forums and Cruise Trainings.

    Virginia has spent most of her two-decade career leading departments of commercial, marketing and operations in international companies of various sectors such as transport, hospitality and consultancy.

    Before founding Cruises News Media Group, she held various managerial posts in companies such as DHL, Panalpina Global Transport, Air Express International, Thomas International and IPS Consultants and was Director of Operations for Spain and Portugal at Hospitality Marketing Concepts, an American multinational of marketing and loyalty programs for luxury hotels and chains.

    She has a degree in Business Administration, International Trade and Marketing and completed her executive program (PGD) in Marketing Management and Strategic Management at the British School of Management Sciences in London.

    Virginia is the publisher and editor of Cruises News (the magazine) following on from the pioneering work by the founder of the magazine and the company.

  • Luis de CarvalhoManaging PartnerB&A EUROPECONFERENCE DIRECTOR


    Luis the Carvalho is the Managing Partner of B&A Europe,  which was formed in October 2013 resulting from a merger between port and destination development firm Consult DC and US cruise and maritime architecture firm Bermello Ajamil and partners (B&A).

    B&A Europe is currently involved on several projects involving Northern European, Danish, Baltic Sea, Mediterranean and West African regions.

    Luis started his career in 1986 with Premier Cruise Lines and RCCL in Miami. He then spent 12 years with Crystal Cruises,  being their LA based Corporate Port Coordinator overseeing shore side operations globally while inspecting new ports and destinations.

    From 2005 on he served as: National Director Cruise Operations in Ultramar Express / TUI Spain based in Barcelona,  Director of Cruise Operations in Tumlare Corporation and Director of Cruise Operations in Kuoni Destination Management based in Copenhagen.

    After gathering knowledge and experience from all angles of the industry he started his own consulting firm Consult DC in 2009 to better serve the global cruise community.

    Luis is also a regular organizer,  speaker and moderator of international conferences, cruise seminars and workshops.

  • Gianni OnoratoCEOMSC CRUISES


    Gianni Onorato is Chief Executive Officer of MSC Cruises. He oversees the company’s growth from its Geneva-based headquarters and reports to the MSC Board of Directors and to its Executive Chairman, Pierfrancesco Vago.

    Today, MSC Cruises is the market leading cruise company in the Mediterranean, South Africa and Brazil, employing 15,500 staff with offices in 45 countries.

    With almost 30 years’ experience in the cruise industry, Onorato has a thorough understanding of the cruise business and extensive experience in senior executive leadership, serving most recently as President of Costa Crociere from April 2004 to June 2013.

    He began his career in the industry in 1986, working on board as Food and Beverage Manager before moving shore side to take on the role of Cruise Product Director of Costa Crociere, in Genoa. From 1997 until 2004, he then served as Vice President Cruise Operations for the same company, managing all aspects of on board operations.

    Italian born, Onorato graduated from the Istituto Orientale of Naples with a degree in Foreign Languages and Literatures in 1983, and specialized at SDA Bocconi in Milan, Italy, and INSEAD in Fontainebleau, France.

    Onorato has also held a number of executive roles in tourism and cruise associations. He served as Vice President of ASTOI, the Italian tourism association and was a member of the European Cruise Council, now CLIA Europe, the leading cruise industry association in Europe.



    Jose LLorca Ortega, born in Ripoll (Girona), has a civil engineering degree from  the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya and is a senior civil servant in the Technical Department of the Ministry of Defence. He has held various positions in the Ministries of Defence and Development. In the latter, the General Director of Ports and Coasts and the General  Director of Ports and State Harbours.

    He has participated in the Group of Ports of the European Union (Port Working Group) and the Group of Experts of Dragados at the London Dumping Convention of the International Maritime Organization (IMO). He has also been Secretary of the Spanish Association of Ports and Harbours (1990-2000) and a  member of the Finance Committee of the International Navigation Association (PIANC-PIANC).

     In 2000-2004 he was president of Ports and President of the public company PORTEL. During this period he was responsible for the draft Law on Financial Regime and service delivery at the ports of general interest, subsequently adopted as Law 48/2003, which represented a breakthrough in the liberalization and improvement in the competitiveness of the Spanish port sector.

    He is currently Director of the Program ROM standardization in the field of planning, design, implementation and operation of ports, having been a speaker for several of the recommendations included in the Program. He participates as an expert on various international working groups in the field of port infrastructure and intermodal transport.

  • Helen CaronManaging DirectorTHOMSON CRUISES & ISLAND CRUISES


    Helen has been with TUI UK & Ireland for 14 years and was appointed Managing Director of Thomson and Island Cruises in January 2014. Prior to that has held an number of senior management roles with TUI including Director of Ireland, where based in Dublin she was responsible for managing the TUI mainstream strategy across the Tour Operator and Retail divisions in Ireland.  She also held the role of Commercial & Trading Director, Distribution responsible for commercial relationships and delivery of sales across multiple distribution channels. During this time she successfully relaunched Cruise Deals, TUI UK & I cruise distribution brand. Prior to joining TUI, Helen worked in sales for Festival Cruises and Page & Moy. Thomson operates 4 ships in the Mediterranean and the Caribbean, Island Cruises is an all-inclusive ship sailing from Palma.

  • Kay-Uwe MarossSenior Manager Destination DevelopmentAIDA CRUISES


    With a graduate degree in Navigation Kay-Uwe Maross (50) started his career at the Deutsche Seereederei in Rostock in 1990.

    After four years in the tramp charter department of the DSR, Maross joined the cruise division in 1994.

    From 1994 until 1996 Kay-Uwe Maross was closely involved in the project management for the first AIDA newbuilding. As Nautical Superintendent he took over responsibility for itinerary planning and implemented the Quality Management System of AIDA Cruises.

    With the growth of the fleet he was responsible for port operations and itinerary planning during last years.

    In connection with the recent merger of port and shore operations departments his focus is on itinerary planning and efficiency improvement today.

  • Emiliano GonzálezGeneral ManagerMSC CRUCEROS


    Emiliano González is the Managing Director of MSC Cruises in Spain and was born in Madrid. He studied "Director of Tourism Enterprises" at the Official School of Tourism in Madrid. His career has always been linked to the tourism sector beginning  in 1967 in the historic CHAT Travel Agency , where he remained until 1980. Subsequently, he held various management positions at agencies  such as  Icab Travel, Atlanta Travel, Vincit,  Mapfre, over a period of 22 years. Emiliano joined MSC Cruises in 2002 as its Commercial Director. In 2004, he became Managing Director of the company in Spain.

  • Javier Rodríguez SánchezPorts, Ground & Cruise Operations ManagerPULLMANTUR


    Javier Rodríguez Sánchez is 34 years old.  He holds a Nautical Studies degree and over more than 10 years experience within the Shipping & Cruise Industry.

    Prior his current position he has worked as Deck officer onboard passenger ships. Also he has worked in various organizations such as Intercruises Shoreside & Port Services and at Maersk Line as Manager, within the Logistic department, both in Spain. Currently Javier is Port, Ground & Cruise Operations Manager at Pullmantur Group.  His actual position involves the operational and financial responsibility for all Port Operations at Pullmantur Group, ensuring that all port services are performed according to the standards and policies of the company.

  • Bob DixonGeneral Manager - EMEA SalesCUNARD & P&O CRUISES


  • Jacqui NobilePort & Shore Excursion Operations ManagerTHOMSON CRUISES AND ISLAND CRUISES


    Jacqui Nobile is the Port and Shore Excursion Operations Manager for Thomson Cruises. Jacqui started her career with Thomson Holidays over 18 years ago, after graduating from the University of Bournemouth with a degree in Tourism Studies. Following a stint as an overseas representative in Menorca, Mallorca and Tenerife, she then spent 3 years working onboard Thomson Cruises vessels managing their shore excursions and all aspects of the customer service operation. In 2000, she returned to the UK where she worked with Britannia Airways (now Thomson Airways) at Gatwick Airport in ground operations.

     Finally, in 2004, she took up her current role of Port and Shore Excursion Operations Manager for Thomson Cruises - with responsibilities including shore excursion contracting, programme and delivery, and port operations for the 5 vessels Thomson Cruises operates. She is also heavily involved in the itinerary planning and port selection for all deployment areas.

  • Emanuele BroccoliManager Shore ExcursionsPULLMANTUR


  • Alessandro CarolloManager, Mediterranean Port OperationsROYAL CARIBBEAN - CELEBRITY CRUISES - AZAMARA CLUB CRUISES


    Alessandro Carollo started his career in shipping almost 15 years ago, as a port agent for many kinds of ships such as ferries, cruises, dry bulk carriers and tankers. After a 7-year career in the port of Venice, he then moved to Inchcape Shipping Services to run their Hub office in Lugano, Switzerland providing a wide variety of centralized shipping agency services for some 3000 port calls/year worldwide (mainly north and south Europe). Within the same company he then moved back to Venice to take control of an operations team of 15 people, managing some 8000+ port calls a year both on the operational and financial perspective, where he could manage the selection and appointment of port agents, implement new procedures and policies and ensuring clients’ KPIs were met, leading as well a team of dedicated staff to control all the invoices coming from the local agents. He then got more responsibilities in his new role as General Manager of sales in Italy, where he was in charge to generate and maintain new customer relationships as well as perform market analysis and studies aimed at the acquisition/establishment of other companies in Italy and other Adriatic Countries.

    Alessandro is now in charge of port operations for the three U.S. brands of RCCL (AZA, CEL & RCI) and his main goals are achieving operational excellence, improved profitability and guest satisfaction as well as identify and develop new destinations in the Mediterranean and Black Sea.

  • Carla SalvadóPresidentMEDCRUISE


    Carla Salvadό started working at the Port of Barcelona in 1992, and first involved in the cruise industry in 2003. She has worked for 3 years as Secretary General of MedCruise, and served its BoD in subsequent years. She is now the Marketing and Cruise Manager of the Port of Barcelona. She has studied Economics and Business Management at the Pompeu Fabra University and ESADE Business School.



    Intercruises Shoreside & Port Services is an experienced global business offering first class ground handling and port agency services to the Ocean and river cruise industry. Intercruises has over 300 port offices and operates in over 50 countries worldwide, providing turnaround, port agency, shore excursion and hotel reservation services.

    After receiving a degree in tourism at the age of twenty, Mark embarked on his career overseas, working in Greece as a holiday rep for Thomson Holidays. Since then he has taken on a variety of different roles within the travel industry, including Regional Director Spain, Portugal & Cruise Operations for First Choice Holidays and Director of Ground Operations & Onboard Revenues for Festival Cruises. During his career Mark has been located in Spain, Africa, Portugal, Greece and Czechoslovakia. He now lives in Barcelona, Spain.

    In 2003 Mark founded Intercruises Shoreside & Port Services as part of the TUI Travel PLC portfolio of brands. Since then Mark has overseen the growth of Intercruises from a one port ground handler to a global provider of cruise ship services.

  • Massimo BrancaleoniGeneral Manager - SpainCOSTA CRUCEROS &


    Massimo Brancaleoni is the General Manager of Costa Cruceros and Iberocruceros in Spain and began his extensive career with the company in 1997. Born in Genoa, he has a wide-ranging international experience that he gained in Italy, France and Asia. During his professional life, he has developed skills in finances, sales, marketing and strategic management, becoming Vice President of Worldwide Sales Services at Costa’s Genoa headquarters in 2009. He also achieved the ambitious objective of launching Costa in Asia, a real ‘first’ for the cruise industry, both as a brand and in terms of operations, during his time as Vice President of the newly established Pacific Asia Operations (PAO) division from 2005 to 2009.



    Tony has been reporting and broadcasting on the cruise industry since 1974 and - since 1992 - has been producing major industry research reports, the latest of which (published by Seatrade  in September 2014) is called “End of the Beginning for Cruising”.

  • Maria CanoCruise ManagerPORTS DE LA GENERALITAT


    Maria Cano holds more than 10 years experience within the Shipping & Cruise

    Industry.  Prior to her current position she worked at the Spanish permanent

    representation in the International Maritime Organization, in London. Also

    she has worked in Port of Catalonia (Ports de la Generalitat) playing a

    variety of roles, including being manager of the port of Palamós. She is now

    cruise manager for 3 different ports which are promoted under "Costa Brava

    Cruise Ports" and "Delta Ebre Port" brands. She's been elected member from

    Medcruise Board of Director since 2011.

  • Helena Gomes FernandesHead of the Commercial, Marketing and Cooperation DepartmentPORT OF LEIXÕES


    Helena Gomes Fernandes, 42, joined the Port Authority of Leixões in 1997 and is currently Head of the Commercial, Marketing and Cooperation Department.

    Helena has been responsible for the Cruise sector at Leixões, for 13 years, in what concerns trade, promotion and coordination of transnational cooperation projects, such as Cruise Atlantic Europe. With a degree on International and Cooperation Affairs and an MBA on Marketing, Helena also undertook a post-graduate in Port Management and Strategy. Helena is also member of board of the Cruise Europe Association.

  • Jane ArcherFreelance journalist


    Jane Archer recently celebrated 25 years as a freelance journalist and one of the UK’s leading cruise experts. She writes about both ocean and river cruise holidays for a variety of consumer and trade titles. She is also Telegraph Travel’s cruise expert and a regular presenter at cruise shows. Jane’s cruising travels have taken her around the world, from the Arctic to Antarctica and all ports in between.

  • Rafael MontoroGeneral ManagerNAUTALIA




  • Eugenio de QuesadaPresidentGRUPO NEXO


    Eugenio de Quesada, Spanish businessman, entrepreneur, and journalist (Jaén, 1961) is President and Director of the Group NEXO 'Nexotur' and the Newspapers and Digital publications 'Conexo', 'NexoHotel' and 'Nexobús'.

    - Chairman of Ibero-American Conference of Ministers of Tourism and Entrepreneurs CIMET.

    - Chairman of the Forum for Environmental Sustainability FUTURALIA Tourism,

    - President of the trade fairs TurNexoMadrid, TurNexoCatalunya, TurNexoAndalucía, and TurNexoValencia TurNexoEuskadi and NexoBusiness Hall.

    - Chairman of the Editor’s committee of Professional Publications of Spain.

    - Vice president of AEEPP, attached to CEOE and CEPYME.

    - Director of the National Congress and Director of the Awards to the editor of the Year.

    - Chairman of the Committee on Tourism Journalists of AIPET-Spain.

    - VP AIPET, International Association of Journalists. attached to the UNESCO.

    - Vice President of the Bureau of Tourism (Spanish Tourism Business Lobby), and former Vice AECIT (Spanish Association of Scientific Experts in Tourism)

  • Alexander NappManaging DirectorPWL PORT SERVICES


    After graduating from high school in 1984 Alex Napp, a native Hamburger, attended an apprenticeship at the Hamburg based shipowner H. Schuldt and graduated in 1988 with the German shipbrokers license specialized in tramp shipping. Directly after the graduation H. Schuldt offered him to work in the US based branch offices ECAM of the own container liner services DEPPE LINE in Houston, Texas where Alex Napp worked until 1990. During this time he worked as manager sales & marketing and controlling as well as attending all vessels locally as port agent. From 1991 till 1993 Alex Napp became head of marketing and sales at the Hamburg based liner agency D. Fuhrmann, Nisslle & Günther Nflg., Hamburg specialized in container traffics world wide. At the end of 1993 Alex Napp joined the Kiel based port agency network Sartori & Berger as head of the Kiel Canal division. Besides his duties at the Kiel Canal Alex Napp established Sartori & Berger as, at that time, leading German cruise agency and became general manager in 2000. In 2009 Alex Napp became managing director. In 2010 Alex Napp joined as managing partner the leading German port agency network Peter W. Lampke (PWL Group) headquartered in Hamburg. PWL is a specialized service provider to all fields of shipping with own divisions in chartering, tramp agency, freight forwarding, stevedoring, liner agencies and project cargo handling and of course cruise services from basic clearance to ground and shore excursions. Today PWL handles a majority of cruise lines calling German ports. With around 220 employees the PWL Group is presently one of the leading German service providers in shipping handling around 4500 calls per year in all German ports and the Kiel Canal.

  • Adam SharpManager, Port Operations & Guest Port Services - UK, Northern Europe & Middle EastRCL CRUISES LTD


    Adam has worked within the Cruise Industry for over 10 years first working for Carnival UK in a variety of roles, including onboard with Swan Hellenic, before joining Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines at the beginning of 2011 as the Port Operations Manager for the UK, Northern Europe and Middle East.

    He is responsible for looking after the interests, requirements and Port costs of the companies three main brands, Royal Caribbean, Celebrity Cruises and Azamara Club Cruises as well as identifying new opportunities and destinations within the region. RCCL owns and operates 40 ships under five brands, including Pullmantur and CDF Croisieres de France.

  • Sonia PrietoGeneral Manager Spain & PortugalPULLMANTUR


    Sonia Prieto Marqués is Pullmantur Group’s General Manager in Spain and Portugal. Her areas of responsibility include Revenue Management, Marketing, Corporate Communications, Travel Service and Customer Service. She currently leads a team of over 200 professionals at the company headquarters in Madrid.

    Sonia has a wealth of experience in the tourism sector. She held different management positions at Pullmantur prior to taking up her current post. Previously, she worked for more than 15 years at NH Hotels, where she was Revenue Management Director and Deputy Operations Director.

  • Thomas RuchtHead of Port OperationsTUI CRUISES


    Thomas Rucht, graduated in business administration, was trained in the hospitality industry  and started his seagoing career with Hapag-Lloyds elegant liner EUROPA. After this, he moved to Viking River Cruises, being Hotel Manager, for some seasons.  Overall, he has worked in the Cruise and River Cruise Industry for more than 15 years. Before joining TUI Cruises in April 2009 he was doing recruiting for top level positions on board major cruise lines. Thomas currently holds the position of Head of Port Operations  at TUI Cruises.

  • Claudius DocekalDirector Deployment, Destinations & Charter SalesAZAMARA CLUB CRUISES


    Responsibilities include the deployment of both Azamara Club Cruises’ 694-passenger vessels, the development as well as implementation of destinations, itineraries and shore excursions.  In addition, Claudius also consults all charter clients on tailor-making their own exclusive voyage, assists the sales department with future charter sales & group inquiries and also works closely with the marketing department in formulating the destination message to the customers.

    Claudius began his career in 1978 with Norwegian America Line/CUNARD remaining with the company until 1985.  After almost three years with a Chinese owned travel company he joined INTRAV/Clipper Cruise Line for more than 14 years.  During this time he was responsible for the deployment of all four company owned (expedition type) vessels across the globe as well as numerous ocean and river going vessels the company chartered annually for additional capacity.  He also developed the company’s land based tour programs to all continents and the groundbreaking Around the World flights with a variety of all first-class charter aircraft, including 28 Around The World flights onboard the Concorde.  After two year with Orient-Express Hotels, Trains & Cruises as Product & Sales Development Director he joined SeaDream Yacht Club in February of 2005.  While at SeaDream, he managed the deployment of both 112-passenger yachts, shore excursions and consulted all charter clients (representing about 40% of the SeaDream business).  He resigned from SeaDream in January 2010 in order to join Larry Pimentel and his team at Azamara Club Cruises.

    Claudius spends his time between Miami, Florida and St. Louis, Missouri with his wife Kathy. The family enjoys traveling, having visited more than 170 countries, cooking, hiking, history and reading books as well as The Wall Street Journal.

  • Belén WangüemertGeneral Manager Spain and FranceROYAL CARIBBEAN, CELEBRITY CRUISES & AZAMARA CLUB CRUISES


  • Captain Michael McCarthyChairmanCRUISE EUROPE


    Captain Michael McCarthy is the current Chairman of Cruise Europe (2012-2016) and Commercial Manager for the Port of Cork Ireland. Michael has built up a vast knowledge and experience of the port and shipping sector over the last 42 year including EU Cruise Initiatives projects “Celtic Wave”, “Cruise Atlantic Europe” and Motorways of the Seas”.  Michael has served in many shipping roles from Harbour Master/Port Security/DGSA/ Terminals Manager; he was a Director/Surveyor with Sea Service Ltd, Marine Cargo and Insurance Surveyors and Master with Irish Shipping Limited. He is a Class 1 Master Mariner and has been awarded a postgraduate Diploma (Hons) in Management and Marketing. He is also Past President of the Irish Institute of Master Mariners.

  • Philip OrdeverVice President of International Sales & MarketingCRYSTAL CRUISES


    MPhilip Ordever is the Vice President of International Sales & Marketing for Crystal Cruises, the world’s leading ultra-luxury cruise line.

    Philip has over 30 years travel industry experience, holding a variety of senior positions within companies including Silversea Cruises, First Choice Holidays Plc, Owners Abroad Group Plc and International Leisure Group.

    At Crystal Cruises, he is responsible for all aspects of International sales and marketing outside of North America; including strategic planning, business development plans with key wholesale & retail partners, management of relationships with Crystal’s luxury marketing partners and management of all trade and consumer media activity.

  • Sonia LópezSenior Manager Business Development Spain & PortugalNORWEGIAN CRUISE LINE


    Sonia López Corrales joined Norwegian Cruise Line in 2009 as Sales Consultant Spain and in February 2014 was promoted to Senior Manager Business Development, responsible for the Spanish and Portuguese market. Sonia who holds a degree in tourism, has spent her entire professional career in this sector and prior to starting with Norwegian Cruise Line worked almost 10 years in Alitalia’s sales department taking care of the airline’s key accounts.

  • María Jesús GarcíaVicepresident Sales Spain & PortugalCOSTA CRUCEROS


    María Jesús García San José, Sales VicePresident for Costa Group, manages the business strategy of the company in Spain, with the aim of consolidating the leadership position of the Costa brand in the Spanish market. Earlier in her career, Garcia San Jose has served as Country Manager for Spain for the Rent-a-car company National ATESA, having previously held various management  positions in several multinational companies such as Continent (now Carrefour), AVIS Rent-a-Car and Jato Dynamics. With over 20 years experience in the tourism and services industry, María Jesús García San José has a degree in Management and Business Administration and also in Law, both by ICADE.

  • Alfredo SerranoNational DirectorCLIA SPAIN


  • David SelbyManaging DirectorTRAVELYIELDS


    Former managing director of Thomson Cruises, David works in several sectors of the cruise industry across Europe. Working either individually or as a lead consultant, he is currently involved mainly in destination marketing and/or port development, although has also worked with Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines, MSC Cruises in the UK and Cruise and Maritime Voyages, since becoming independent. He also likes to write and is a regular contributor to CruisesNews magazine on subjects ranging from river cruising and travel agent training to cruise line management change.

  • Alan LamMaritime CorrespondentCRUISE BUSINESS REVIEW


  • Susan ParkerFreelance journalist


    Susan Parker has been writing about the cruise industry for over 20 years. She began her journalistic life on The Motor Ship, moving on to Lloyd’s Ship Manager and then taking over as editor of Lloyd’s Cruise International shortly after it was first published. During 12 years Susan developed LCI into a well-respected and informative title. She is now freelance and continues to write for cruise publications on subjects ranging from ports and destinations to environmental efficiencies.



    Airam Díaz is the Commercial Manager of the Port Authority of Santa Cruz de Tenerife which manages five cruise ports. In 2011, he joined the Port Authority after his position as Commercial Executive of Grimaldi Group and other companies related to the maritime and logistic business. He has a master degree in Law and Maritime Business by the Universitat Politécnica de Catalunya and a Bachelor of Science, International Trade and Marketing by the University of Wales. His wide range of responsibilities in the Port  Authority are related to different maritime business areas such as cruises, bunker services, container terminals, marinas, offshore and oil platforms, logistic services…  He is an active member of the ESPO Passenger Committee and of the Medcruise Board of Directors besides his work in the Cruises in the Atlantic Islands association to promote the Canary and Madeira Islands area as a cruise destination. Actually, he is really involved in the Tenerife New Cruise Terminal construction that will be ready in November 2015 to improve the deployment in the islands.

  • Grenville CartledgeManaging DirectorFOUR GOLDMODERATOR


    Grenville has over 25 years cruise industry experience, both at sea and in various shore-based operational and training management roles.  After graduation from hotel school in the UK, his early career was in international hotel management before joining Cunard Line as a Hotel Officer on board Queen Elizabeth 2 in the 1980’s.

    After several years working at sea he came ashore and since has had key roles with leading cruise lines within Hotel Operations, Purchasing & Logistics, HR & Training, Product & Customer Service and Charter Party Management.

    He set up his own company, Four Gold, in 2010.  Four Gold is a wholly independent, UK-based cruise consultancy and training company that works both with cruise operators and their suppliers.

  • Gloria FrauCruise Manager - Port of BilbaoCOSTA VERDE CRUISE (A Coruña, Bilbao, Gijón, Santander)


    Gloria is heavily involved in the Commercial Dpt., and responsible for the Cruise Sector at the Port of Bilbao (Spain) for the last 14 years.

    Actually, she is also involved in representing Costa Verde Cruise Association which was created in 1.998

    Gloria has a wealth of experience in the tourism, communication & marketing sector; after graduating from the University of Deusto (Bilbao) with a degree in Tourism Studies, she reached a management position for 4 local travel agencies, she also worked for some years for the Fininvest Group (Mediaset) and she nowadays continues promoting port & destination with the same energy as before, cause she is really proud of Bilbao and Costa Verde!

  • Deborah VegaProduct Manager MediterraneanINTERCRUISES SHORESIDE & PORT SERVICES


    Deborah was born near Nottingham, UK and now lives in Barcelona, Spain. After receiving a degree in Drama & English at the age of twenty, Deborah set up a theatre company with several colleagues and toured the UK working on theatre in education projects.  Deborah commenced her commercial career just a few years later with a leading FMCG company.  Deborah has held different senior Commercial, Training and Marketing roles in the UK and throughout Europe.

    In 2011 Deborah joined Intercruises Shoreside & Port Services as part of the Barcelona operations team.  Since then Deborah has been responsible for different departments and is now heading up the Product team for the Mediterranean.



    Oliver is a leading cruise experts based in Hamburg, Germany. He has traveled the seven seas since his childhood. Today he looks back on over 30 years of cruise experience and spends more then 100 days on board cruise ships each year. Remote destinations such as Galapagos and St. Helena fascinate him as well as meeting people on board. About 15 years ago, he has developed the evaluation system for cruise ships and built one of the most comprehensive databases with a team of fellow journalists. His exciting reports, in-depth analyzes and ship reviews appear in newspapers, magazines and the annually published reference work KOEHLERS CRUISE GUIDE ("KOEHLERS GUIDE KREUZFAHRT"). In addition to his journalistic work, he advises shipowners and the maritime industry in product, marketing and sales topics. Oliver is the founder of the annual german cruise award "DEUTSCHER KREUZFAHRTPREIS“.

  • Claire RichesManaging DirectorTRAVEL WAVES


    Claire Riches is a marketeer with over 20 years of marketing experience within the Travel and Retail sectors.

    Since November 2011, she has been the Owner and Director of Travel Waves Marketing, providing marketing and consultancy services for businesses in the travel, tourism, hospitality and retail industries. Travel Waves Marketing specialises in a wide range of marketing activities including e-mail and online marketing, social media, PR support, brand development and product and service launches.

    Claire has a proven track record of getting results in business.  Before Travel Waves Claire was Head of Marketing at Norwegian Cruise Line, where she was responsible for the development of integrated sales and marketing activity. Covering all marketing including campaigns, brochure production and launch, PR, sales events and conferences.

    Prior to Norwegian Cruise Line, Ms. Riches served as Brand Marketing Manager at B&Q, a major European DIY home improvement retailer. In this position, Ms. Riches led the Marketing Communications team, ran national advertising campaigns for B&Q and developed Direct Marketing function including development of on-line contact strategies.

    Earlier in her career, Ms. Riches also held various marketing roles at PC World, Somerfield, Dixon Motors, DSGi Business.

  • Neal BaldwinPR ManagerMSC CRUISES UK


    After an early career as a news journalist Neal switched to specialise in travel in 1996. As Deputy Editor of Travel Weekly he helped cement the paper as the UK’s leading travel trade title and later freelanced for a number of publications and travel businesses, writing news, features and advising on editorial strategy. He was head of news and social media at Siren Communications, the UK Pr agency handling the Royal Caribbean/Celebrity Cruises account in the UK. He now overseas MSC Cruises PR in the UK and Ireland.

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