It was the night when the men and women behind Australia and New Zealand’s cruise industry get the recognition they deserve.

More than 500 joined Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) Australasia in marking a record year of cruising at the 16th Annual Cruise Industry Awards in Sydney.

A total of 19 awards were handed out across nine categories with the top Australian award once again going to Western Australia’s Bicton Travel.

In addition to winning an unprecedented sixth Gold Agency of the Year award, Bicton founder Carole Smethurst was inducted into the CLIA Hall of Fame.

Phil Hoffmann Travel Glenelg took out the Silver Award, marking the agency’s seventh appearance in the top three since 2008, while Cruiseabout Kew won Bronze.

CLIA Australasia Chairman Steve Odell presented a special posthumous award to the late James Patrick from Wiltrans International for his Contribution to the Australasian Cruise Industry.

The award was accepted by James’ wife, Wiltrans Managing Director Diane Patrick.

“The Cruise Industry Awards bring together the industry’s brightest stars from across Australia and New Zealand in a fantastic celebration that recognises their outstanding achievements. Each year, the event continues to grow in stature in line with the impressive expansion of the industry, cementing the CLIAs as the cruise industry’s ‘night of nights’,” Mr Odell said.

The event featured an exclusive preview of award-winning musical The Bodyguard with Paulini Curuenavuli performing some of Whitney Houston’s best known songs.

Cruise Agency of the Year – Australia

GOLD: Bicton Travel, Perth WA
SILVER: Phil Hoffmann Travel, Glenelg SA
BRONZE: Cruiseabout, Kew VIC

Cruise Agency of the Year – New Zealand

GOLD: Pukekohe Travel

SILVER: House of Travel Orewa

BRONZE: Cruiseabout Parnell

Online Agency of the Year – Australia
Online Agency of the Year – New Zealand

Cruise Republic


Home Based/Mobile Agent of the Year – Australia
Derek Harwood – TravelManagers
Broker of the Year – New Zealand

Debbie Bradford – NZ Travel Brokers

Cruise Consultant of the Year – Australia

Helen McMullen, Cruise Holidays QLD

Cruise Consultant of the Year – New Zealand

Gail Littin, Pukekohe Travel

Rising Star Award – Australia
Hayley Osbourne, Cruise Republic VIC 
Rising Star Award – New Zealand

Melanie Morrison, HOOT Cruises

Agency Promotion of the Year – Australasia
Meridian Travel & The Cruise Gallery VIC – “Rockin’ the Mekong with Elvis”
Network Promotion of the Year – Australasia
Phil Hoffmann Travel (Australia) – “River Cruise Launch Events with APT”
Plan a Cruise Month Agency Promotion Award – Australasia

Bon Voyage Cruises & Travel – New Zealand


Media Award
Brian Johnston, “Sail of the Centuries” (The Age/SMH Traveller, Fairfax) 
Hall of Fame

Carole Smethurst – Bicton Travel


Contribution to the Cruise Industry (Posthumous Award)

James Patrick – Wiltrans International