MIAMI, Feb. 13, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Cruise Shipping Miami's popular State of the Industry plenary session has been retooled and renamed for the 30th anniversary edition of the cruise industry's premier annual event, set for March 10-13, 2014, at the Miami Beach Convention Center. Now called the State of the Global Cruise Industry, the panel will feature the chief executives of the world's four largest cruise corporations.
In addition to a new name and format, the opening session features BBC's Katty Kay as the event's first moderator from outside the cruise industry. Kay anchors the "BBC World News America" broadcast from Washington, D.C., covering both American and global affairs. She is a frequent guest commentator on NBC's "Meet the Press" and MSNBC's "Morning Joe," where she often serves as guest co-host.
"We've redeveloped our flagship session to better reflect cruising's growing popularity with consumers worldwide as well as the cruise business' increasing value globally," said Daniel Read, director of UBM's Cruise Events Portfolio. "The heads of the world's four largest cruise corporations will certainly give us the broadest possible point of view on the current state and future of the business."
First-time panelist Arnold Donald, appointed president and CEO of Carnival Corporation & plc in June 2013, is the panel's newest chief executive. Joining him on the dais are industry veterans and former panel participants Richard Fain, chairman of Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd.; Kevin Sheehan, CEO and president of Norwegian Cruise Line; and Pierfrancesco Vago, executive chairman of MSC Cruises.
"The State of the Industry is a must-attend event of Cruise Shipping Miami, with a long tradition of providing a valuable overview of the industry," said Donald. "Cruising continues to grow in popularity around the world as a great vacation experience at an extraordinary value. I am looking forward to our time together — to join in dialogue with industry leaders and to share my excitement about the future of our industry."
Arnold W. Donald has been a director of Carnival Corporation since 2001 and a director of Carnival plc since 2003. He was named president and CEO of Carnival Corporation & plc in June 2013. He is also Principal of AWDPLC LLC, a private investment company. Donald has held top executive positions with the Monsanto Company, Merisant Corp., Executive Leadership Council and Junior Diabetes Research Foundation.
Richard Fain has been chairman and CEO of Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. since 1988. The global cruise company owns six brands — Celebrity Cruises, Royal Caribbean International, Pullmantur, Azamara Club Cruises, CDF Croisieres de France, and the joint venture TUI Cruises. Prior to joining Royal Caribbean he spent 13 years as treasurer, chief financial officer and joint managing director of Gotaas-Larsen Shipping Corp.
Kevin Sheehan has served as the chief executive officer and president of Norwegian Cruise Line since 2008. He helped found Spanish-language television network Telemundo, took several companies public including rental car giant Avis, aided in the launch of Sega Channel, taught at Adelphi University in New York and consulted for a variety of private equity firms, including Apollo Management, a Norwegian shareholder.
Pierfrancesco Vago, served as chief executive officer of MSC Cruises overseeing the company's operations from its headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, from 2004 until he was named executive chairman in September 2013. He started his career at MSC by leading the joint venture between the Italian Ferry company SNAV and Hoverspeed Seacontainer Group. In 2001 he was promoted to MSC cargo line manager for the U.S., Mexico and Canada. Vago began his career in the family business Franco Vago S.p.A., a leading Italian transport company.
Preceding the State of the Global Cruise Industry panel Cruise Lines International Association President Christine Duffy will provide a statistical overview of the cruise industry. Duffy has served as CLIA president since 2010. Prior to that she was president and CEO of Maritz Travel, one of the world's largest meeting, event and incentive travel management companies.
Cruise Shipping Miami is the global flagship of UBM's Cruise Events Portfolio, which includes the annual Cruise Shipping Asia-Pacific and the biennial Seatrade Med Cruise Convention.
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Since 1985 Cruise Shipping Miami has been the premier annual event of the worldwide cruise industry. From a small gathering of 150 cruise industry executives in a hotel meeting room in New York City, Cruise Shipping Miami has grown into a four-day conference and three-day exhibition drawing 11,000 attendees, more than 900 exhibiting companies from 123 countries and over 300 international journalists to become the cruise industry's annual marketplace of ideas, products and services.
Cruise Shipping Miami is exclusively supported by Cruise Lines International Association and Florida-Caribbean Cruise Association.
SOURCE Cruise Shipping Miami