The Wave Awards judging panel is made up of distinguished experts and industry representatives together with our magazine editors.
Editor, World of Cruising Magazine
Louise Robinson is currently Editor of World of Cruising. A national newspaper journalist for twenty five years, Louise edited S Magazine, the Sunday Express colour supplement, for over a decade. She has contributed cruise and family travel features to her own magazine as well as to the travel pages of the Daily and Sunday Express. Louise is particularly interested in family cruising and often takes her husband and children onboard with her. Her eldest daughter’s first words were “watertight doors” and her youngest daughter calls hotel rooms cabins.
Director of Destinations and Sustainability, ABTA
Nikki White is ABTA’s Head of Destinations & Sustainability with responsibility for destination government liaison, sustainability, operations, crisis management and health & safety in destinations. Nikki chairs a number of committees, including the Federation of Tour Operators. Nikki represents the UK on ECTAA’s destinations and sustainability committee, sits on the WTM advisory council and is a judge for the Responsible Tourism Awards.
Nikki has gained an impressive grasp of travel and tourism strategy over her years as Head of Strategy and Development at travel and leisure marketing experts Fox Kalomaski. Here she worked with a number of destinations as well as specialist agents, tour operators and airlines devising a range of strategic policies. Nikki’s expertise in sustainable tourism has been enhanced by her completion of a Masters degree in Leadership for Sustainable Development.
CEO, Cosmos Tours & Cruises
Giles has over 25 years experience in the UK tour operation and cruise sectors of the travel industry and has held his current position of CEO of Cosmos since April 2016. Previously, Giles was Executive Director at MSC Cruises responsible for the UK & Ireland, Scandinavia and Australia markets as well as overseeing other key international markets. He has held director level positions at the Specialist Holidays Group, Highlife Breaks and Carnival UK where one of his key achievements was to re-shape the UK remuneration model for third party cruise agents.
Giles cites his first role as a young Overseas Rep and Operations Manager with the UK’s largest ski tour operator as a determining factor in developing his clear focus on putting the customer first in everything he does.
Giles is a non-executive director of the Institute of Customer Service (since 2009), runs his own small tour operation, South Downs Way Tours, is deputy chair of CLIA UK and chairman of the newly formed Association of Touring and Adventure Suppliers (ATAS). In his spare time, he is a keen cyclist, runner and skier. Giles loves spending time with his family and when time allows drinking good quality Burgundy.
Vice President, Marketing P&O Cruises
Christopher joined P&O Cruises in August 2013 and his team has transformed Marketing Communications (fleet hardware, strapline, design & photography, TV campaigns using Rob Brydon). Christopher led a team for the inaugural celebrations for Britannia, (the largest ship ever built for UK cruise market) which delivered c.£29m of earned PR/Online media coverage in 2015.
Prior to joining Carnival Christopher was Commercial Director of Coral for the Gala Coral Group. He was a member of the executive team running the company, including 1,750 betting shops, a significant online business and 12,000 employees. Previously he led large teams in a number of blue-chip businesses including McDonalds, Disney, Ladbrokes and William Hill, and he has experience across all areas of traditional marketing and general management with excellent online experience, conceiving and then managing the launch of William Hill’s online channel (Europe’s largest online gambling business at the time).
Head of Travel Editorial, The Telegraph
Claire Irvin is Head of Travel Editorial at the Telegraph where she and her team of top travel experts are focused on engaging, informing and inspiring more readers than any other media travel brand.
Irvin, who has been described by the Times as one of the 50 most influential women in the UK, has spent her career driving editorial innovation – most recently as Editorial Content Director at The River Group, where she was responsible for the creative development of over 21 omnichannel magazine brands for clients including cruise operators, airlines and tourist boards.
Travel has also been a focus throughout her career as a magazine editor. She was Editor-in-Chief at Bauer Media, where she headed up a premium new digital superbrand portfolio including market-leading Mother&Baby.
As Editor of SHE magazine, she was responsible for a critically acclaimed relaunch, a high-level mentoring women’s network, life-changing national campaigns and a string of high profile celebrity cover exclusives and increasing the 600,000 high-achieving readership.
As Editor at Large of Grazia, the UK’s most glamorous, dynamic weekly glossy she could be organizing an intimate overseas dinner for the fashion world’s elite one week, another co-ordinating an all-star cover shoot or interviewing pre-election party leaders.
She has also been Acting Editor of Company, Deputy Editor of InStyle, Editor of ELLEgirl and Editor of teen market leader Sugar.
Irvin lives in Hertfordshire with her husband Stuart and children Amelie, 8, and Charley, 5.
Product & Commercial Director, iglu.com
At Iglu.com since 2003, David was active and present during Iglu’s first commercial cruise deal and has been driving a forward-thinking Product and Commercial Department ever since. As Product & Commercial Director, David demonstrates a trailblazing approach to commercial operations and continues to pioneer Iglu’s unique position in specialist travel.
Director of Marketing and PR, Celebrity Cruises UK and Ireland
Heading up a team of marketing, social media, web, e-commerce and PR professionals, Sam Otter joined Celebrity Cruises in May 2017 as director of marketing and PR.
Otter is charged with leading innovative and integrated marketing campaigns – across all communications disciplines – for both consumer and travel trade channels.
Celebrity Cruises will launch its first new class of ship in ten years – Edge Class – in late 2018. Otter is an integral part of the planning and build up to the launch and in securing increased brand awareness for Celebrity Cruises.
Prior to joining Celebrity Cruises Otter has held senior marketing role with brands including Cheapflights, Virgin Holidays, O2 and Walt Disney Parks and Resorts. Past experience in major product launches, loyalty marketing and sponsorship activation are all valuable assets that Otter brings to the Celebrity Cruises team.
Otter has also been behind multiple award winning campaigns including across the Travel Marketing Awards, the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising and the Institute of Direct Marketing.
Renowned for her dynamic leadership and commercial acumen, Otter works hand in hand with Celebrity Cruises’ director of guest and trade services, Kathy Barbrooke and director of sales, Claire Stirrup. She reports to Celebrity Cruises’ UK, Ireland and Asia vice president and managing director, Jo Rzymowska.
MSC Cruises Managing Director, UK and Ireland
Antonio Paradiso joined MSC Cruises as Trade Manager for Austria, Germany and Switzerland in 2010. Since joining the world’s largest privately owned cruise company he has worked in over 30 countries as Executive Director and comes to the role of MD for the UK and Ireland with a wealth of knowledge, experience and expertise.
Born in Brighton to a British mother and an Italian father Antonio has a real passion for the UK and is very delighted to be leading the UK & Irish markets at such an exciting time. Since taking up the position in 2016 Antonio has focused on growing the business in the UK and is proud to have achieved unprecedented growth across the UK & Irish markets. With a trade focused approach Antonio’s first action was to grow the sales team in order to provide a hands on approach. With a new Director of Sales and a larger on the ground team the impact has been obvious and MSC Cruises reputation in the UK is going from strength to strength. The cruise company is at the start of an ambitious growth plan and Antonio is proud to be leading this in one of the world’s most important cruise markets, the UK.
Vice President, Princess Cruises UK and Europe
Tony Roberts is the vice president of Princess Cruises UK and Europe and has worked for the cruise line for the past two years. Before this, Roberts worked for Princess’ sister brands within Carnival UK for 15 years in a variety of roles covering customer services, sales, finance and IT. During this time, Roberts initiated and launched a number of major projects alongside the commercial and digital teams.
Leading a team of over 80, Roberts is responsible for the sales, marketing, PR and commercial functions, as well as Guest Relations, for the UK & European Princess offices.
Since joining Princess, Roberts has overseen a number of large scale projects including ITV’s documentary ‘The Cruise’, launching Ocean Medallion – providing guest experiences unavailable anywhere else in the world – and leading the most successful wave period ever for Princess Cruises UK in 2016.
Head of Sales UK & Ireland, A-ROSA River Cruises
Dedicated travel executive, educated at MBA level, with more than 17 years combined experience starting up complex product concepts as well as directing operational areas in large and small travel organizations. The last six years having been spent in the UK and building up a considerable executive consultancy experience, Lucia’s career was built on a passionate approach towards a variety of managerial roles and business sectors: from hands-on river cruise start-ups with A-ROSA River Cruises and DER Touristik to private Yacht concepts (Lurssen Yachts/Beluga Group);
A strategist with solid reputation for driving top revenue numbers while providing quality product, Lucia is a results-driven professional, skilful at building strong and successful international teams by adeptly coordinating people from different backgrounds, nationalities, and positions. Fluent in 4 languages with proficiency in 5th she is very keen to embark onto new travel & tourism projects and contribute to the best of her abilities to the success of the AWTE.
She is running A-ROSA River Cruises in the UK and is the Chair of the CLIA River Cruise Committee.
Head of Marketing, Voyages to Antiquity
Richard Tarrant is Head of Marketing at Voyages to Antiquity. In a 20-year travel industry career he has visited more than 75 countries worldwide and cruised the Galapagos, the Baltic, the Mediterranean, the Norwegian Fjords, the Scottish Highlands and the rivers Rhine, Rhone and Danube. Richard contributes articles to World of Cruising magazine, as well as Calibre and The Lady.
Chief Executive Officer, Accord Marketing
Sally joined DMGT in 1987 and stayed for the next 21 years. In 2004, she was appointed Managing Director of Loot. Today, she is the CEO of Accord Marketing, the UK’s leading travel marketing agency, working with luxury hotels to international airlines, tour operators to tourist boards and of course major cruise lines and cruise agents.
UK & Ireland Managing Director, Silversea
Made UK & Ireland Managing Director of Silversea in June 2016 having joined the business as Commercial Director the previous year. Prior to that she held various positions at Avis Budget Group, latterly as Head of International Sales and Strategic Accounts for EMEA responsible for distribution via travel agents, tour operators, brokers and partnerships.
Vice President Operations, CLIA Europe
Andy is CLIA Europe’s Vice President Operations with responsibility for the strategic development of CLIA Europe’s travel agent and event programme. Among his achievements are CLIA UK & Ireland becoming the first organisation to be recognised for the excellent standard of its travel agent cruise training by the UK’s leading awards company in vocational education, City & Guilds; the implementation of the travel agent programme within France and Spain, and a successful series of events including the CLIA Conference, the largest cruise travel agent event of its kind in Europe.
Managing Director, Blue Water Holidays (Cruise Agency of the Year 2015)
Juliet Archer has been involved in the cruise industry for 15 years, and has cruised on board a wide range of river and ocean-going ships throughout the world. A self-confessed ship-spotter, she has a great passion for the cruise industry and the unique experiences that cruising can offer. Her favourite cruise destinations include the South Pacific, Adriatic and River Rhone, and top of the current wish list are Myanmar and Cuba (although it changes weekly!). When not cruising she enjoys pub quizzes (specialist subject – rivers, seas and cruising areas in general) and paying vet bills for her accident-prone competition horse.
Senior Commercial Manager, Advantage Travel Partnership
Claire is the Senior Commercial Manager at the Advantage Travel Partnership, the UK’s largest independent travel agent group.
Claire is happy to admit to being a travel addict in every sense but particularly for cruise. She regularly cruises both for work and for pleasure and loves that every brand, ship and port of call offers guests something different.
Claire says she is lucky enough to have some amazing experiences whilst cruising but one that sticks in her mind would definitely be sailing into Puerto Rico with a glass of champagne on the helipad of a cruise ship.
Director of Cruise, Trailfinders
David has been involved in the Travel Industry for 16 years, progressing from customer facing sales consultant to Main Board Director at award-winning Trailfinders, the pioneers of tailormade travel who have made arrangements for more than 15 million clients.
David has headed up the cruise team at Trailfinders for 7 years and seen it grow from a start-up team of 5 to over 50 dedicated sales consultants and back office staff. Among his achievements is Trailfinders being named ‘Travel Agency of the Year’ for two consecutive years by CLIA UK & Ireland.
He passionately believes that there is a cruise out there for everyone and takes great joy when a client tries a cruise for the first time, often following it up with cruise after cruise – the perfect industry endorsement.
During his spare time, David enjoys running with his local club, coaching his son’s football team and most of all travelling to far flung places with his young family.
General Manager Northern Europe, Middle East And Africa (Ne/Mea), Norwegian Cruise Line
Nick Wilkinson’s career at Norwegian Cruise Line started in 2002 and he now holds the position General Manager Northern Europe, Middle East and Africa (NE/MEA). His responsibilities include Distribution, Commercial and Business Development.
Nick brings a wealth of experience in the travel and hospitality sector to Norwegian, having worked as an hotelier in the independent hotel sector and overseas for Thomson Holidays. His entrée into the cruise business saw him take up sales roles at Royal Olympic Cruises and Festival Cruises.
Since joining Norwegian in 2002 as National Sales Manager UK and Ireland, he has, as he puts it, progressed through the ranks, holding positions as Head of Sales UK and Ireland and then Director of Business Development Northern Europe & MEA.
As a senior member of Norwegian’s pan-European team, Nick played a key role in the launch of Partners First, an all-encompassing initiative reinforcing Norwegian’s commitment to its travel partners and the investment in their long term success. His latest commitment, is working with partners to ensure the fantastic benefits of Norwegian’s new Premium All Inclusive pricing structure reach them.
Editor, Cruise Trade News and Cruise Destinations
Editor of Cruise Trade News and Cruise Destinations, Rebecca Barnes, is an award-winning, London-based journalist and editor with 17 years experience. Having previously written travel articles for countless consumer, national and trade titles and websites including The Independent, Tatler, You & Your Wedding, Zest and Sunday Express, Rebecca has travelled to destinations including Mexico, St Lucia, Panama and the Cayman Islands, interviewed high-profile celebrities, industry icons and TV personalities, and worked with brands and agencies looking for innovative content, engaging social media, direction and insight. Rebecca’s blog, Beauty Voyage, was nominated in the Best Emerging Blogger category at the J&J Journalism Awards 2016. Always in search of the ‘next big thing’ in global travel, Rebecca’s favourite destinations include the Greek Islands, Ibiza, Copenhagen and Marrakech.
Lesley got hooked on adventure cruising in 2008 and now travels the globe chasing stories and sunshine. An award-winning journalist with more than 30 years’ experience contributing to national, international and regional press. She finds cruising the perfect way to indulge her passions for the arts, architecture, gardens, history and wildlife.
Managing Director, Iglu.com
Simone Clark is the Managing Director at Iglu.com, the UK’s largest cruise specialist travel agency. Iglu have been selling cruise for 8 years and 2 years ago acquired Planet Cruise, a specialist in tailor made and longhaul cruise holidays.
Simone enjoys cruising and as well as visiting many ships for her job; also regularly cruises 2-3 times a year for a family holiday on cruise lines as diverse as Royal Caribbean, P&O cruises, Azamara Club cruises, Seabourn and Carnival.
Her son has cruised since he was 6 month’s old and is already a cruise addict! She believes that there is a wide choice of cruise lines and ships to suit everyone and all the innovation in the cruise industry means that the standards are extremely high; meaning that this will be a very close contest to judge.
Marketing Director UK & Ireland, Carnival Cruise Line
Erin Johnson is UK Marketing Director at Carnival Cruise Line, the World’s Largest cruise line carrying over 4 million guests a year. Erin has been at Carnival Cruise Line for 15 years since graduating from Leeds in 2001, and has in that time worked on other brands within the Carnival Corporation portfolio including Holland America Line and Windstar Cruises.
Erin firmly believes that there is a cruise out there for everyone, and enjoys visiting new ships that come into the sector, as well as sailing with her husband and two small boys, both of whom have cruised since they were 9 months old.
Editor, Cruise Trade News Magazine
Jill Sayles is a journalist specialising in the travel trade. She has worked on travel trade magazines and online for more than 10 years and was appointed editor of Cruise Trade News (CTN) in April 2015.
Jill has travelled extensively as part of her career and enjoyed a number of cruises before joining CTN. These experiences whetted her appetite to become increasingly more involved in the cruise industry. During her time at CTN she has immersed herself in the cruise industry, attending events, conferences, and more cruises, both river and ocean, to really experience and understand the products.
John has been a journalist since he left school 38 years ago.
For the past eight years he has specialised in travel and especially cruising. He has written for national newspapers and magazines and has also managed a large number of sponsored editorial projects for cruise lines and retailers.
John has sailed on cruise ships on oceans and rivers, from 40 passengers to 3,000.
Cruise Writer, Shipmonk.
Dave, aka Shipmonk, has been a journalist for 39 years, most recently as deputy editor of Metro, Britain’s best-read daily paper. He began writing about cruising in 2005 and was voted best cruise blogger last year for shipmonk.co.uk, which he started in 2013. You’ll also find him as Shipmonk on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. He was a judge in last year’s Wave Awards and recently edited a river cruise supplement for World of Cruising.
A former newspaper journalist, Jeannine is now an award-winning travel writer and cruise specialist who contributes to a variety of consumer and trade magazines, newspapers and websites. Her worldwide travels have taken her to well-known and remote destinations around the world and include paddling along part of the Mississippi in a wooden dug-out canoe to sailing on the world’s largest ships. She is a river cruise expert and has travelled extensively on waterways throughout Europe and Asia, including Russia, China, Myanmar, Vietnam and Cambodia.