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Ann Sherry wins award as person who has contributed most to the Australian cruise industry, and Princess is Australia’s top cruise line.

Princess Cruises is Australia’s favourite cruise line and Carnival Australia’s chair Ann Sherry has done most to make Australia one of the world’s top cruise destinations.

That’s the verdict of a panel of judges working with Cruise Passenger, Australia’s oldest cruise publication.

Cruise Passenger is celebrating its 21st year of publication this year, and produced the awards with the country’s top cruise journalists.

The industry celebrated 1.2 million cruisers this year – and is on track to make 2 million by 2020.

Ms Sherry said of the awards: “I am delighted and feel both humbled and honoured…

“I believed it was possible to make cruising fashionable again, even though most people at the time did not. That belief enthused others.”

She added: “People choose holidays for a number of reasons and cruise ticks all the boxes. Now Australians have unprecedented choice of cruise lines catering for everything from everyday luxury to ultra luxury and a record number of ships and itineraries covering the South Pacific, New Zealand, Australia and, increasingly, Asia.”

The only could on the horizon, she confirmed, is the lack of capacity in Sydney. Lines like Royal Caribbean have said they are by bypassing the port because there is not enough room for today’s mega liners.

“I certainly hope it doesn’t take 20 years, but we need to make progress in the improvement of port facilities to underpin further growth in cruising. Two million Australians a year cruising is in sight if we get the infrastructure right,” said Ms Sherry.

Cruise Passenger publisher Peter Lynch said: “These awards represent an important milestone for an industry contributing 5 billion dollars to the economy but which is still rarely recognised for its enormous contribution in bringing overseas visitors to Australia and creating jobs here and in our region.”

The awards:

Biggest Contribution to the Cruise Industry – Ann Sherry, Executive Chair, Carnival Australia

Best Ocean Cruise Line – Princess Cruises

Best luxury Cruise Line – Regent Seven Seas

Best Premium Cruise Line– Princess Cruises

Best Cruise Line for Families – Carnival Cruise Line

Best River Cruise Line – Scenic

Best for Accommodation – Royal Caribbean

Best for Activities – Royal Caribbean

Best Cruise Line for Food – Oceania

Best Small Ship Line – APT

Best Cruise Line for innovation – Crystal Cruises

Best Place for Shore Excursions – Papua New Guinea

Best Cruise Port – Marina Bay Cruise Centre