Wave Awards shortlist reveals cruise sector’s top performers

With just one month to go until the winners of the second Wave Awards are revealed, 57 cruise industry leaders have been shortlisted across five key categories. From the world’s largest cruise lines to specialist niche operators, the destinations that cruise holidaymakers love the most, and even popular attractions and excursions, the Wave Awards finalists represent the best of the diverse cruise industry.

Following the success of the inaugural event in 2016, which set the benchmark for excellence from a cruise guest and travel industry professional perspective, the 2017 awards have attracted a huge 50 per cent increase in entries.

Amongst the finalists competing for a total of 34 cruise-related crowns are AmaWaterways, Cunard, Princess Cruises, Saga plus last year’s winner of cruise line of the year, Royal Caribbean International. Ports from Akureyi in northern Iceland to Seattle in the USA are also shortlisted, as are attractions ranging from Agatha Christie’s home in Devon to the Tower of London.

Cruise industry specialists nominated for the first time include Iglu Cruises, Oceania Cruises and Star Clippers.

Katherine Lawrey, group editor at Real Response Media – the business and consumer publishing company behind the Wave Awards - said: “The Wave Awards made a big impact in its 2016 launch year and we’re excited to bring them back next month, uniting the entire UK cruise industry in one venue to celebrate best practice and trail-blazing innovation within the sector.”  

This February’s prestigious event will include a new award recognising the best on-board experience for LGBT travellers for the first time.  

All award categories have been hotly contested, with the high calibre of entries particularly within the best luxury and premium cruise line categories giving the judging panel of travel experts cause for heated debate.

Explaining the rigorous process behind the awards, Lawrey added: “We take the judging process for the Wave Awards very seriously. We select individuals to serve as judges who have distinguished themselves in the cruise industry. We hold our judges to the highest standards of fairness, accuracy and integrity and the entire process adheres to these guiding principles.”

The Wave Awards judging panel is made up of distinguished specialists and expert industry representatives together with magazine editors from Real Response Media’s portfolio of cruise titles including Cruise Ports and Destinations, World of Cruising and Cruise Trade News. Senior executives of cruise specialist travel agents, cruise lines, and industry bodies and a range of esteemed travel journalists from national newspapers complete the judging panel.

Andy Harmer, senior vice-president membership & director CLIA UK & Ireland, and non-voting chair of the Wave Award judges, said: “In the plenary session judges came together and engaged in hearty debate about some hotly contested categories to ensure that the overall winners can be held in the highest regard. We’re confident the winners chosen represent the best of the best in an industry defined by creativity, innovation and outstanding growth.”

The winners will be unveiled at the exclusive Wave Awards ceremony on 16 February 2017 at London’s Royal Garden Hotel.

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