Cruise-industry giant Carnival Corporation announced Wednesday that it has chosen Christine Duffy, head of the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA), to lead its namesake brand.
Duffy, who has more than 30 years of travel-industry experience, will start her job as President of Doral, Florida-based Carnival Cruise Lines on Feb. 1. Gerry Cahill, who had been President and CEO of the line since 2007, retired on Nov. 30.
“Christine is one of the most respected and dynamic leaders in the travel industry,” Carnival Corp. CEO Arnold Donald said in a statement. “She brings a wealth of experience to Carnival Cruise Line that will help the cruise line continue to deliver unmatched vacation experiences to millions of guests each year.”
Duffy spent the last four years – a rough stretch for the industry – as President and CEO of CLIA. Her tenure overlapped with the fatal shipwreck of the Costa Concordia in 2012 and a disabling fire aboard the Carnival Triumph the following year, crises that forced the association to steer through negative news coverage and plunging public trust. After the Concordia disaster, CLIA spearheaded a review of safety procedures and recommended 10 new policies that were adopted by member lines.
During her time at CLIA, Duffy also expanded the group globally. Before starting at the association in December of 2010, she was President and CEO of corporate meeting and incentive company Maritz Travel. She started out as a travel agent in Philadelphia.
“This is a tremendous opportunity for me to be part of a dynamic organization with a long history of innovation and industry firsts,” Duffy said in a statement. “The name Carnival is truly synonymous with cruising and I look forward to joining this talented team to continue the tradition of excellence.”