As we gather with colleagues and friends to celebrate and reward the very best in the cruise industry, we know that despite the challenges of the pandemic – and indeed those that remain – the cruise sector is robust, healthy and innovative.
Cruise lines and the UK travel trade have worked tirelessly, as one industry, to create new on-board experiences, reassure clients and build back better to a stronger future.
You have all stood strong, worked around the clock, changed itineraries to put health and safety first, and generally gone above and beyond on so many levels. Once again, cruise has demonstrated that it truly is one big family. As we continue on the path to recovery, we should not forget this.
This year, we have a new award – the Peter Grant Contribution to the Cruise Industry Award. As many of you know, Peter – who was Real Response Media director and Cruise Trade News and World of Cruising publisher – passed away suddenly in 2020.
Peter was a great friend and director. He was hugely passionate about cruise, loved the cruise industry, and equally was loved by many who work in cruise. More often than not he was the last man standing at the bar; I have many fun memories of him.
Entries for the Wave Awards were stronger than ever and fully illustrated the great diversity of innovative holiday experiences being offered to customers throughout the UK by cruise lines, travel agents, ports and destinations. We are celebrating the achievements of 2019 because they were important – and even more so after such a difficult 18 months.
Finally, and most importantly, I would like to thank all our judges, who helped with analysing all the entries, as well as our sponsors – without whom the Wave Awards would not be possible. So, a big thank you to Accord Marketing, Ambassador Cruise Line, A-Rosa River Cruises, Crystal Cruises, Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines, Marella Cruises, Qatar Tourism, Riviera Travel, Rooster PR, Seabourn, Silver Travel Advisor, and Upperhand Gin.
A special thanks in particular to our headline sponsor, Saga Cruises, and also to Royal Caribbean International for sponsoring a unique after party.
FOUNDER & CEO, REAL RESPONSE MEDIA