Fred Olsen Cruise Line’s Mike Rodwell and Mike Evans have spoken of their “honour” at winning the coveted John Honeywell Award at the 2019 Wave Awards.

The pair – who are retiring this year after almost 60 years between them at the Suffolk-based cruise line – received the honour at a ceremony at London’s De Vere Grand Connaught Rooms.

The award is named after the former editor-at-large of World of Cruising, and recognises those who have made an outstanding contribution to the cruise industry.

Head of sales Mike Evans said: “I am truly honoured to receive the John Honeywell Award. When you work in an industry for such a long time, and know the workings like the back of your hand, real surprises don’t come easily – but when my name was called I was speechless. 

 “John was a great man, who was passionate about cruise and travel, and had a real affinity for Fred Olsen, so to receive this award in his memory fills me with great pride. I can’t think of a better way to mark my final weeks with Fred Olsen. Thank you all at Real Response Media for bestowing such an honour upon me.”

Mike Rodwell, Fred Olsen Cruise Lines, cruising, cruise, Wave Awards
Fred Olsen’s Mike Rodwell

Managing director Mike Rodwell said he was “humbled”, adding: “Retirement was not a decision I took lightly, but my 60th birthday seemed like an appropriate milestone. I would like to thank all of those, many of whom will be in this room tonight, who have made my career with Fred Olsen such an enjoyable one.

“Thank you very much to all at Real Response Media, on behalf of Mike and I, for bestowing such a prestigious award upon us. What a fantastic honour for us both to start our retirements with.”

Meanwhile Real Response Media managing director Chris Pitchford said: “Fred Olsen Cruise Lines has been lucky to work with both of these talented travel professionals over the past 30 years. They are much admired and respected in our industry and thoroughly deserve this award.”

The Wave Awards – organised by Real Response Media – celebrate the very best in the cruise industry, and are open to cruise lines, travel agents, tourist boards and ports.