View the speakers of the last five years:
Virginia López Valiente
Virginia Lopez Valiente is the owner and CEO 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 also the publisher and Chief editor of Cruises News, the magazine.
Luis de CarvalhoCEOBERMELLO AJAMIL & PARTNERS EUROPE
Luis the Carvalho is the CEO of Bermello Ajamil & Partners Europe (B&A Europe), the worldwide leader in port and destination development for cruise based in Copenhagen, Denmark.
B&A Europe is currently involved on several projects involving Northern European, Baltic Sea, Mediterranean, Atlantic, Indian Ocean 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 and in 2013 merged Consult DC with top US 200 architecture firm Bermello Ajamil & Partners Inc. to form B&A Europe.
Luis is also a regular organizer, key speaker and moderator of international conferences, cruise seminars and workshops.
In 2016 Luis de Carvalho won the Seatrade Supplier of the Year Award with Bermello Ajamil & Partners Europe.
Manuel ButlerGeneral DirectorTURESPAÑA
Jacqui NobilePort & Shore Excursions Operations ManagerMARELLA CRUISES - TUI GROUP
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.
Olga PiquerasManaging DirectorINTERCRUISES SHORESIDE & PORT SERVICESModerator
Olga has over 25 years of experience in aviation and port operations, joining British Airways in 1987 as an Operations Agent. During her thirteen year career with British Airways, Olga held the roles Duty Manager and Customer Service Manager at Barcelona airport, becoming responsible for all operations and direct revenue. In 2000 Olga joined Eurohandling UTE BCN, a start-up ground handling company, coaching and leading a team of 150 staff during a year-long project. In 2003 Olga joined Intercruises Shoreside & Port Services as Operations Director, responsible for international operations worldwide, encompassing over 60 countries and 300 ports. In 2016 Olga became Intercruises Managing Director and now leads the business. Olga has a Certificate in Management from Oxford Brooks University, an International MBA from La Salle, Manhattan College and has completed numerous business and operations training courses.
Belén WangüemertAssociate Vicepresident & Managing Director EurozoneROYAL CARIBBEAN CRUISES
Belén Wangüemert es Associate Vicepresident & Managing Director de Royal Caribbean Cruises en la Eurozona (Francia, Alemania-Austria-Suiza, Italia y España). Fue Presidenta de CLIA España, la Asociación Internacional de Líneas de Crucero.
Wangüemert cuenta con más de 20 años de sólida experiencia en el sector. Antes de unirse a Royal Caribbean a finales del año 2005, trabajó en Latitud4, tour operador especializado en cruceros y representante de diferentes navieras en España como Cunard Line, Silversea, MSC y Royal Caribbean entre otras. Tras dirigir el Departamento de Marketing, fue ascendida a Directora General cuando Royal Caribbean estableció su propia oficina corporativa en España. Después de 6 años diseñando y ejecutando una estrategia de crecimiento exitosa se hizo cargo además del mercado francés al asumir la Dirección General de Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises y Azamara Club Cruises en España y Francia.
A lo largo de su carrera profesional, Belén Wangüemert ha desarrollado una fuerte relación con los principales grupos de interés del sector y ha apoyado todas las iniciativas para hacer que la industria crucerística sea más fuerte y relevante en España.
Christian BoellManaging Director EuropeNORWEGIAN CRUISE LINE
In his position as Managing Director Europe Christian Boell assumes responsibility for all of Norwegian Cruise Line’s activities in Continental Europe and Scandinavia including the regions’ sales and trade efforts.
Since joining the international cruise company in June 2015 Christian Boell has been focusing on expanding the ocean carrier’s market share as well as brand visibility in Europe. Under his leadership Norwegian Cruise Line has rolled out its innovate Premium All Inclusive offering in all European markets and has expanded its presence with the first time deployment of a total of five ships in Europe.
Before joining the international cruise company, Christian Boell successfully managed different tourism brands and has initiated innovative branding concepts to better meet demand and the requirements of different target groups. He was previously employed with the international Steigenberger and Schörghuber hotel group (Arabella Sheraton) and played a major role in the launch and expansion of the German cruise lines AIDA and Arosa. Most recently before joining Norwegian, Christian Boell served as Managing Director for the German river cruise brand nicko cruises, heading its marketing and sales divisions.
Christian Boell is based in the European branch office of Norwegian Cruise Line in Wiesbaden, Germany. If he is not travelling the world visiting one of the cruise line’s 15 ships or its global offices, he likes spending his spare time skiing, diving or cooking.
Javier MarínDirector Itinerary Planning, Full Charter & Charter FlightsPULLMANTUR CRUISES
Javier Marín comenzó su trayectoria en Pullmantur Cruceros en 2011 para liderar el área de Estrategia Corporativa y la Oficina de Transformación. Actualmente, dirige el área de Itinerary Planning, Charter Flights & Full Charter. Es responsable de supervisar la estrategia, desarrollo y mejora del portfolio de productos. Asimismo ejerce la labor de representar a la Compañía en numerosos foros internacionales.
Antes de unirse a Pullmantur Cruceros, Marín ha desarrollado su carrera en consultoría estratégica, y estuvo vinculado a compañías como Deloitte y Accenture, donde fue miembro fundador de la Práctica del Turismo, así como en la firma de M&A, Ambers & Co., actualmente integrada en Ernst&Young.
Apasionado por el turismo y la estrategia, es licenciado en Administración de Empresas por la Universidad de Santiago de Compostela (España) y cuenta con un MBA de IESIDE.
Craig MilanVice President Itineraries and DestinationsVIRGIN VOYAGES
Emiliano GonzálezPresidentMSC CRUISES SPAIN
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.
Raffaele D’AmbrossioGeneral Manager Spain & PortugalCOSTA CRUCEROS
Antonio PeñaDirectorJSF TRAVEL & TOURISM SCHOOLModerator
Antonio joined JSF Travel & Tourism School at its launch and was tasked with developing a business plan for creating the school and leading the successful launch of the project to its inception, having IESE and Wharton School as partners. He also has deep roots in the Middle East, as responsible for leading B2B Travel Group, the corporate travel bank and b2b IT Partner of Al Tayyar Travel Group. Antonio is an experienced entrepreneur & strategist with outstanding experience in launching, managing and growing innovative technology based projects at an international level. His previous experiences include several CEO level roles in the travel and tourism industry. He was the Director of Reis de Mallorca, Hotels of Character and founded Integral Consultores, a consulting company specialised in strategy, business development, innovation and market research. Antonio was also the youngest (aged 24) appointed Board Member of IFEMA (Madrid Trade Fair Organisation) and Director of the Balearic Islands Trade Fair Organization. Fluent in German and English, Antonio has an extensive network of industry contacts across the globe. His strong creative and entrepreneurial skills work effectively in large corporate and smaller start up environments also. In his spare time, Antonio likes to read, practice sport, meditate, as well as listening to his variety of daily sent Spotify collections.
Nils P. OlschnerSales Director Special VesselsABEKING & RASMUSSEN
Nils P. Olschner, born in 1971, studied at the University of Applied Sciences in Kiel. He finished his studies with the successful examination to Naval Architect. During this time he passed several internships at different shipyards.
Mr. Olschner worked in the project department at the Lindenau Werft in Kiel, Germany, before he switched to Howaldtswerke-Deutsche Werft AG. There he proofed himself in design of specialized ships and project management, mainly for cruise ships and large ferries.
Since 2003 he is Sales Director Special Vessels at Abeking & Rasmussen Schiffs- und Yachtwerft SE in Lemwerder, Germany.
Ana FernándezMarketing DirectorPULLMANTUR CRUISES
Ana Belén Fernández se incorporó a Pullmantur Cruceros en febrero de 2017 como Directora de Marketing con el objetivo de diseñar y liderar la estrategia de su departamento a nivel mundial. Además, entre sus funciones destaca su labor para impulsar acciones dirigidas a consolidar y potenciar los atributos que convierten a Pullmantur Cruceros en una opción única en el mercado.
La creatividad y la innovación son los pilares que sustentan su línea de trabajo, clave para conectar al consumidor con la compañía.
Experta en la definición, creación y construcción de estrategia de marca, Fernández asumió durante 14 años proyectos y campañas nacionales e internacionales de gran envergadura en The Coca-Cola Company. En esta etapa profesional destacó por su labor en el reposicionamiento, la innovación y el impulso de diversas líneas de producto.
Anteriormente, y durante más de cinco años, su carrera profesional estuvo vinculada al Grupo Carrefour, donde ocupó el puesto de Product Manager Internacional responsabilizándose del posicionamiento y la armonización de la oferta.
Es licenciada en Ciencias Económicas por la Universidad de Navarra, tiene un MBA por el IESE y un Máster en Internet Business por el Instituto Superior para el Desarrollo de Internet (ISDI).
Willie McPhersonChief ExecutiveVINE TRUST
Willie trained as an educationalist, before being ordained as a Presbyterian Minister spending over 10 years in local parish ministry from 1992 – 2003.
With over 35 years’ experience in the voluntary sector, in both project management and as a non-executive director of three Scottish charities, Willie has an in depth knowledge of social issues having worked both in the UK with Save The Children Fund and in Africa since 1985 and Peru since 1990.
Willie has a particular interest in sustainable social development and supporting marginalised and forgotten communities.
Mark RobinsonCruise Industry ExpertModerator
Frances Gannon is editor and co-founder of CruiseTimes, an international trade magazine which was launched in 2016 and is pu blished three times a year. Frances has worked in the cruise industry for the past seven years, and previously worked in finance, retail marketing, and commercial business. She is passionate about travel and is always excited to visit new places and learn about different cultures. CruiseTimes' main focus is to provide essential reading and reports to key decision-makers in the global cruise and maritime trade, through our analysis of developments in the cruise industry worldwide. In addition to the printed publication, each issue is available in digital format on our website www.cruisetimes.net.
Giuseppe CarinoVice President Guest Experience & Onboard RevenueCOSTA CROCIERE
Giuseppe Carino, aged 46, born in Turin, is Vice President Guest Experience & Onboard Sales of Costa Crociere.
He has grown a considerable experience in the company, developing multiple skills. Giuseppe joined Costa in Genoa in September 2005 as Director in Risk Advisory&Assurance Services Dpt (after having spent 9 years at EY) with overall responsibility for coordinating internal audits for Costa group which comprise Costa Crociere and AIDA cruises.
In 2014 he was appointed Vice President of Guest Experience&Onboard Sales Dpt. with the ambitious objectives of launching the new Flagship Costa Diadema (hosting 5.000 Guests) and improving the Net Promoter Score from 34% to 50% between 2014 and 2018.
After successfully completing the launch of Costa Diadema and being in line to achieving 50% of NPS he is now facing another exceptional challenge with the launch of Costa Smeralda, the new jewel of the sea.
Fernando MuñozCommercial DirectorPORT OF CARTAGENA
Josep AndreuCEOPORT OF TARRAGONA
Luis Manuel Diaz de TeránBusiness Development DirectorALTRAN
Luis Manuel Díaz de Terán López is business development director in the Altran TMS division. He has more than 17 years of experience and has worked as engineer, consultant, business unit manager, director of strategic planning and business unit director. Luis Manuel has a broad industry and international experience, he’s worked in consumer electronics, oil&gas, telecommunications, Media and travel & accommodation. He spent several years of his career abroad, in fact he started working for Altran in the Netherlands for a period of 3 years, he also launched the Altran Middle East branch during 2 more years. He’s got a master degree in industrial engineering by the university Carlos III, a PLD by the IESE, a leadership and management certificate by MIT Sloan School of management, and several executive programs at Michigan Ross and the IE. He’s married and is the father of 4 children.
Emma KjartansdóttirBoard MemberCRUISE ICELAND
Monica FriskOperating ManagerGOTLAND TOURISM BUSINESS ASSOCIATION
Monica Frisk has 20 years of experience in destination development and marketing. She has been one of the driving forces in developing Helsingborg, Sweden, as a cruise destination in the Baltic Sea area. Because of her efforts, Helsingborg, which had no cruise ship calls when she began, has received numerious awards, including “Most Up & Coming Destination, Northern Europe” (1998) and “Most Improved Cruise Destination” (2010).
Monica serves on the board of Cruise Europe, a member organization comprised of more than 100 destinations in Europe, and has played an active role in the development of Cruise Baltic, an assocation of 26 ports throughout the Baltic Sea region.
At present Monica holds a position as MD for the Tourism Business Association in Gotland.
Maribel RodriguezRegional Director Europe & LatamWORLD TRAVEL & TOURISM COUNCIL
José Llorca OrtegaPresidentSPANISH STATE PORTS AGENCY
José 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.
Airam Díaz PastorPresidentMEDCRUISEMr. Díaz Pastor will be giving the keynote speech after the official inauguration on November 29th.
Airam Díaz Pastor is President of MedCruise, the Association of Mediterranean Cruise Ports, since October 2017 and Commercial Director of the Port Authority of Santa Cruz de Tenerife since 2011.
He has been Key Account Manager for Shipping Company, International Transport & Logistics of Grimaldi Group in Naples in Italy, as well as for I.C.P.L Srl - Rome Interport Logistic Platform Civitavecchia in Rome where he managed for instance, Royal Caribbean and Princess Cruises warehouses. In Dakar in Senegal, he was Commercial Director of the international sales, distribution and logistics tire company Firestone-Toppneus and Market Analyst at the Commercial Department and Economic Development of the Spanish Embassy. He has a Master Degree in Law, Maritime Business and Port Management, Diploma in International Business and Marketing and Bachelor Degree in International Business Management and Marketing by the University of Wales.
As former MedCruise Board of Directors member, he was Responsible of the Association Projects & Studies, developing with PIANC “Guidelines for building cruise terminals” and coordinating MedCruise working groups related to the impact of cruise activities and the provision of LNG in the MedCruise ports.
Tine Nathalie OelmannDirector Port Operations, Shore Excursions & Ground OperationsTUI CRUISES
Tine Oelmann worked in the shipping business for more than 20 years. Starting working for ferry lines she changed to the German premium cruise line Peter Deilmann in 1993. After 10 years work experience in Sales & Shore Excursion department she changed to one of Germanys leading port agencies for cruise lines, Sartori & Berger. As Manager Groundhandling & Shore Excursions she developed and expanded the business continuously in 4 years handling nearly all cruise lines calling Germany. In April 2008 she joined the start up of the new branch TUI Cruises from the very beginning and is now Director Port Operations, Shore Excursions & Groundhandling.
Doug ProtheroManaging DirectorTHE RITZ-CARLTON YACHT COLLECTION
Ana Karina SantiniDirector Commercial Development EMEAROYAL CARIBBEAN
Ana Karina Santini, born in Argentina. She graduated in Political Science and International Relationships in Cordoba. After a Master in International Cooperation at the University of Bologna and a stage at the European Commission DG1 International Cooperation, she graduated in Political Science, economic address at the University of Genoa.
From 1997 to 2002 she was Secretary General of MedCruise. She was also Commercial representative of Port of Buenos Aires in Genoa: reporting to the National Secretary for Maritime Transportation.
From 2003 she started an independent consultancy activity with her own company in the cruise and maritime sector.
Since 2012 she is PR Manager of Royal Caribbean International Italy, responsible for PR, communication and relationships with Italian authorities (local, regional, national, ports, associations). She also takes care of theme cruises and new products. Since 2013 she is Commercial Development Manager in Mediterranean area. Since 2017 she is Director Commercial Development EMEA. On behalf of Royal Caribbean she is Chairman of Venezia Investimenti Srl and member of the board of Terminal Napoli, Rome Cruise Terminal, Malaga Cruise Port, Creuers del Port de Barcelona, BPI, Lisbon Cruise Port and Ege Ports (Kusadasi). She also promotes new business opportunities and port projects in Europe.
Elisabetta de NardoVice President Port & Destinations OperationsSILVERSEA CRUISES
Elisabetta de Nardo has a University degree in Shipping & Maritime Economics and a Master in Cargo Marine Surveying (London).
After a few years working in cargo shipping, with oil tankers and dry bulk carriers (becoming Director of Operations in 2004), she joined Carnival Group in 2007, as Port Operations Manager for Costa Crociere.
After a growth in her career path (through Head of Port Operations, to Director Port Operations & Development), Elisabetta joined Silversea Cruises in June 2014.
As Director Port & Destinations Operations, together with her team, she daily faces the fascinating operational challenges of the hundreds of marvellous destinations visited by Silversea luxury cruise ships, including managing bunker supplies and itinerary planning for the Classic fleet.
Since January 2017 Elisabetta has been appointed as Chairman of CLIA Europe Port & Destination sub-committee.
Miguel A. ReynaDirector, Commercial DevelopmentROYAL CARIBBEAN
Miguel A. Reyna plans and implements worldwide infrastructure and port developments to support the deployment of Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd (RCL) fleet. Miguel joined RCL in 2001 and he currently oversees the commercial, operational and financial performance of a multimillion dollar portfolio of worldwide port investment to ensure adherence to RCL’s strategic and investment goals. Miguel and the Commercial Development team continuously evaluate future port development opportunities to anticipate and meet cruise infrastructure demand. Currently, Miguel is directing the development of a Miami landmark, the “Crown of Miami”, the newest iconic cruise homeport terminal facility at the Port of Miami scheduled to open in 2018.
Born in Peru, he holds a B.S. Degree in Industrial Engineering from the Universidad of Lima, Peru, a Master’s Degree in Policy Analysis from the Harriman School at the State University of New York, Stony Brook, and an MBA in Finance from the Stern School of Business at New York University.
Jaime OliverCEOOLIVER DESIGN
Jaime Oliver has a rare natural gift for creation, that deploys designing interior spaces and external profiles of yachts, ferries, cruise vessels and innovative projects.
Under the trade mark "Oliver Design" its studio produces new original architectural concepts revealing a strong design force and domain of the techniques and regulations, all awarded with a full and selected clients list.
Well know as exhibitor at international trade fairs, or as speaker in different symposiums, its innovative designs had often received national and international awards.
He produces also important accommodation works for ferries/cruise vessels and builds yachts with a characteristic differential design.
Many of the more than 400 integral projects suit what Jaime Oliver calls
"Comprehensive Projects" meaning those in which the design team starts working with the shipyard, and eventually with the customer’s architect, from the very initial planning stages, playing a decisive role in the concept phase design of the whole superstructure, develops the Architectural Project, directly participates or at least controls the outfitting and decoration of interiors and stays until the final handover of the completed vessel and even helps the operator with the business promotion.
Jaime Oliver has its own hallmark and style and, the aesthetics of his exterior profiles and original interior layout solutions, have been dully recognised with not less than 11 national and international awards.
Jaime Oliver has an extensive experience of long term collaboration with different Spanish and foreign shipyards. It is the only design company who has had permanent framework assistance contracts for collaboration in different design fields signed with the major Spanish shipyards, such as:
Creativity, innovation, imagination, are the most sought after identification marks for Jaime Oliver, who aims to reunite designers capable of catching the starting point of a creative idea by accurately expressing them with a pencil on a piece of paper and technical people who convert it in basic conceptual sketches and drawings in which to analyse and select different alternatives, with the most sophisticated computer design programs as required for the creation of the multiple spaces that a large cruise ship requires.
Benoit PerrinCFOPULLMANTUR CRUISES
Emilio R. FreemanVice President Itineraries and PortsRITZ CARLTON YACHT COLLECTION
Emilio Freeman currently serves as the Vice President, Itinerary & Ports for The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection. In this role, he is involved with the strategic deployment and design of itineraries for this new ultra-luxury yachting company.
His professional background includes managerial positions in marketing and sales, operations and finance with Royal Caribbean, The World Residences at Sea, Azamara Club Cruises and other North American cruise brands. He has global destination planning experience and has travelled to over 250 ports and over 80 countries around the world.
Previously he held the position of Director, Itinerary Planning for Hurtigruten AS in Norway, and was responsible for the development of the itineraries for the company’s adventure/expedition cruise products.
Prior to joining Hurtigruten in 2016, Emilio was Director, Brand Operations and Destination Delivery for Royal Caribbean’s Global Tour Operations team. In this role, he managed the shore excursion teams onboard all Royal, Celebrity and Azamara cruise vessels. He was also the principal architect who developed Azamara’s night touring efforts including the brand’s exclusive destination events called “AzAmazing Evenings”.
Emilio was part of the initial management team which launched The World Residences at Sea. In his twelve years there, he served as the
Senior Vice President, Operations and Global Destinations, and was responsible for all land-based operations and support for The World, including Tours, Purchasing, Port Agency relationships and Itinerary Planning.
Born and raised in Miami, Florida, Emilio earned a BA in Accounting from the University of Florida and a Master of International Business degree from Florida International University. He is a former Certified Public Accountant in the State of Florida, was a member of the prestigious Explorers Club in New York City and served on the Executive Committee of the International Association of Antarctica Tour Operators.
Mike HallHead of MarketingCRUISE & MARITIME VOYAGES
Mike Hall is Head of Marketing at Cruise & Maritime Voyages, the UK’s leading and fastest growing independent cruise line. Since its launch in 2010, Mike has been responsible for the marketing of the CMV brand which has grown from zero to approaching 130,000 annual passenger carryings. He has a wealth of travel industry experience in sales, marketing and training, plus travel writing and magazine publication. Mike is well known throughout the UK travel industry, particularly in the cruise sector, and is often called upon for his views and comment.
Mark IttelPartner / Senior Vice President, Ports & MaritimeBERMELLO AJAMIL & PARTNERS
Mark is a Partner and Senior Vice President, Ports & Maritime for Bermello Ajamil & Partners, Inc. He joined B&A in 2000 and prior to that has been in the cruise industry since 1987. From 1990 - 2000 he worked for Royal Caribbean International and Celebrity Cruises as Manager, Shore Excursion Programs / Destination Development with oversight of the brands expansion efforts in Europe, Bermuda, Canada & New England, Bahamas .
He leads B&A’s Port Master Planning, Cruise Facility Planning & Development, Marina and Waterfront Planning worldwide. He has successfully led numerous strategic planning, master planning, port, and waterfront and cruise facility assignments. He is currently leading a team developing the India Cruise Tourism Strategic Plan for the Government of India; Partner-In-Charge for the new Port Everglades Terminal 25 for Celebrity Edge to be delivered in December 2018; and, Project Director for Port Master Plans at Port Miami, Port Canaveral and Port Everglades.
B&A is currently working on several high profile projects including the recent delivery of the renovated Seattle Pier 66 for Norwegian Cruise lines; RCCL’s Terminal A at PortMiami; Carnival’s Long Beach Terminal renovation; MSC’s Ocean Cay Marine Park; Tampa Bay’s Channelside Master Plan; Port Authority of New York & New Jersey’s Cruise Master Plan; Singapore Marina Bay Waterfront Master Plan; and other exciting projects worldwide.
Maite CasasSenior Manager Port Operations
& Ground HandlingPULLMANTUR CRUISES
Maite Casas is head of Pullmantur Cruceros’ Port Operations and Ground Handling at a global level.
Casas is in charge of directing and organising all ship operations in embarkation, debarkation and layover ports. She maintains a close relationship with the various port authorities to ensure that all services are carried out in accordance with the company’s standards and policies.
She also negotiates procedures with the main airlines and manages agreements with ground transport companies to facilitate guest transfer between terminals. Her motto is to keep on improving the passenger experience.
After a brief stint at the Ferrovial Group, she joined the Strategy Department of Pullmantur Cruceros in October 2010 where she acquired extensive knowledge of the cruise sector.
Subsequently, she joined the Port Operations & Ground Handling area in March 2011 where she was appointed Manager in December 2015.
After completing her studies in Business Administration and Management at the University College of Financial Studies (CUNEF) in Madrid, her career has mostly been linked to Pullmantur Cruceros
Chris AshcroftManaging DirectorCRUISE INSIGHTModerator
Chris Ashcroft has been involved in the cruise industry for 25 years. Since 2007 he has been managing director of Ashcroft & Associates. The company publishes digital and print versions of the trade magazine Cruise lnsight. Chris Ashcroft also moderates cruise industry conferences. Previously he ran a specialist direct marketing consultancy and he also worked in an award winning agency.
Santiago Garcia-MiláDeputy General Manager Estrategy & CommercialBARCELONA PORT
Master’s degree in Economics and Business Administration from the University of Barcelona and two postgraduate studies: Marketing Strategy (ESADE) and General Management (IESE).
Prior to his appointment with the Port of Barcelona, he worked for twenty years with different private companies in the area of international marketing.
He is currently Deputy General Manager of the Port of Barcelona; President of the International Association of Ports and Harbours, IAPH; Chairman of the Port Governance Committee and member of the Executive Committee of the European Sea Ports Organisation, ESPO; Founder and deeply involved since 1998 in Intermed (North-West Mediterranean Ports Association -Genoa, Marseille and Barcelona); President of PortIC, the Barcelona’s Port Community System; Chief Executive Officer of tmZ, Zaragoza Inland Terminal; and associate lecturer in International Marketing at the University of Barcelona.
Prior to his current responsibilities at the ESPO, he was ESPO Chairman from 2012 to 2016, Chairman of the ESPO Intermodal and Logistics Committee from 2008 to 2012, and member of the ESPO Executive Committee since 2008.
Christopher Windsor-PriceMarine Operations DirectorMARELLA CRUISES
Barbara BuczekDirector Corporate Development
& Operational BusinessesPORT OF DOVER
Barbara joined the Port of Dover in 2010 and has since held several senior management positions within Corporate Affairs and Business Development. She was appointed Director of Corporate Development in 2015 and in 2017 she also became responsible for all Operational Businesses at the Port. With a business portfolio that encompasses £119bn worth of UK trade through Europe’s busiest ferry port, the UK’s second busiest cruise port and thriving cargo, estates and marina operations Barbara has a broad spectrum of experience within business development and operations. Barbara is also a Director of Port of Dover Cargo Limited, Director of Dover Waterfront Limited and a Trustee for Emmaus Dover. She was previously working for South East England Development Agency.
Marta FarreroTechnical DirectorPATRONAT DE TURISME DIPUTACIÓ DE TARRAGONA
Ramón HurtadoGlobal Product & Operations ManagerINTERCRUISES SHORESIDE & PORT SERVICES
Valerie ConanCruise DirectorLE HAVRE TOURISM
Serving the tourism industry for over 30 years, Valérie is always on the deck to promote her home town, whose transformation and ranking as a World Heritage Site are the pride.
In the context of an agreement with the Port of Le Havre, Valérie manages the Cruise Department of Le Havre Tourism, entirely dedicated to development, promotion, operations at the Cruise Terminal and reception of the cruise visitors. Le Havre Tourism also coordinates the Cruise Club, which brings together the different institutional partners and professionals involved in the development of this industry. Considered as an anecdotic activity in the mid-nineties, Cruises have known an important evolution in Le Havre, first for transit calls and more recently for turnarounds, reaching up to 400 000 passengers on 130 calls in 2017.
As a contact woman, she enjoys sharing her experiences with French and International networks and associations she is involved in. From 2013 to 2016, Valérie was the President of the Propeller Club of Le Havre and still reminding member of the Board. Within this network, she has developed great relationships with professionals of the maritime industry. She is still a board member of the International Propeller Club of the United States. Furthermore, she is involved in the Propeller’s Student Club, connecting students of the Le Havre Maritime Academy with cruise lines for internships on board cruise ships. With the French Atlantic ports she is promoting the Channel / Atlantic coast under the slogan the Art de Vivre and shares good practices with the French cruise destinations via the think tank CruiseLab. She represents Le Havre in Cruise Europe (Le Havre hosted the Cruise Europe Conference in 2013) and in CLIA.
Topping a year of celebrations for the 500th anniversary of the city and the port, Le Havre Tourism received the Seatrade Cruise Awards, destination of the year category, in September 2017. This recognition of Le Havre, not only as the Gateway to Paris but as a cruise destination on its own, is Valérie’s latest reason for satisfaction.
Marta MartínVP Corporate Responsibility
& Internal CommunicationNH HOTEL GROUP
Edie RodriguezAmericas Brand Chairman and Corporate Special AdvisorPONANT
Edie Rodriguez, is Americas Brand Chairman and Corporate Special Advisor for Ponant Cruises. Ponant is the world’s leading luxury expedition cruise line with destinations to all seven continents and is owned by the multibillion-dollar Groupe Artemis. She is past CEO and President of Crystal Luxury Corporation, Ltd. Is a decisive leader with 35+ years experience in the global cruise, travel, hospitality, luxury and technology industries. She is recognized as an expert and thought leader in the luxury and travel sectors with a strong financial acumen and broad based sales, marketing, including social and digital, distribution channels, and operations experience. Ms. Rodriguez is actively involved in the travel industry; she serves on the Board of Directors of the Cruise Line International Association (CLIA), the Robb Reports Private Aviation Board, Atout-France’s Advisory Board for French Tourism and is a past member of the Board of Directors of the Promotion Marketing Association.
In May of 2015 working with J.P. Morgan, Ms. Rodriguez, at the time President and COO of Crystal Cruises since 2013, orchestrated and led the successful acquisition of Crystal Cruises by Genting Hong Kong, publicly traded on the Hong Kong exchange, at a purchase price of fourteen times EBITDA. Ms. Rodriguez was then promoted to CEO and President of Crystal Luxury Corporation, Ltd. when the transaction was completed. Her tenure with the company included closing out the three best EBITDA years in the fiscal history of the twenty-seven year old Crystal brand.
In July of 2015 she led the transformation of the company from the World’s Most Awarded Luxury Cruise Line to the company becoming the World’s Most Luxurious Hospitality and Lifestyle Brand Portfolio with holdings including Crystal Cruises, Crystal Yacht Expedition Cruises, Crystal River Cruises, Crystal Luxury Air, a private jet charter service, Crystal AirCruises, an around the world by private jet vacation experience, and Crystal Residences at Sea, a condominium concept coming to sea in 2022. She served as CEO and President of all divisions.
Prior to joining Crystal Cruises, Ms. Rodriguez held Senior Executive positions as a Corporate Officer at Azamara Club Cruises, the luxury division of Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd., Cunard, Seabourn and Carnival Cruise Lines, all divisions of Carnival Corporation and all based in Miami, Florida.
Prior to her in-house positions with the cruise lines, Ms. Rodriguez served as Vice President of Cruise and Specialty Sales, Marketing and Customer Support for Amadeus Global Distribution System. During her tenure she was successful in both obtaining and retaining 90% global cruise line market share as her customer base. At Amadeus, she was instrumental in the implementation of automation solutions for the cruise industry and numerous other projects including strategic planning. She began her career in the travel industry in roles with increasing responsibility progressing from a travel agent to a travel agency manager.
In recognition of her business and industry leadership, in May of 2017 she was named a finalist in the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year competition where the winner will be named on June 23, 2017. She was also selected as Luxury Daily’s 25 Luxury Women to Watch for 2017. Ms. Rodriguez was also named in 2016 a “Wave Maker” by Afar Magazine, as one of ten visionaries making travel better, and was selected as one of the ten most influential people in travel by the editors of Travelpulse.com. In 2014 she was named a “Woman of Note” by the Wall Street Journal. Ms. Rodriguez remains actively involved in the south Florida community. She served as a member of the Board of Directors of the Young At Art Children’s Museum and the Winterfest Boat Parade Charity both in Fort Lauderdale. She was also the Women’s Leadership Co-Chair of the United Way of Miami-Dade County and a mentor with Carnival’s Big Brothers and Big Sisters Mentoring Program.
Ms. Rodriguez earned a BS from Nova Southeastern University in Fort Lauderdale and a certificate from the Women’s Leadership Forum at the Harvard Business School in Boston, as well as a certificate from the Executive Management Program of Stanford University. She and her husband, Tom Rodriguez, reside in South Florida and she has one grown son. Program of Stanford University. She and her husband, Tom Rodriguez, reside in South Florida and she has one grown son.