Helen Hutcheon

Helen Hutcheon

Australasia correspondent

Helen Hutcheon did her cadetship on a shipping magazine and worked in P&O’s Sydney office for seven years as a public relations journalist.

For 19 years she was deputy editor of Travel Week, which was Australia’s leading trade newspaper that covered major local and international industry events.

In 2008 the late legendary Rama Rebbapragada presented her with an award from Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd ‘in  recognition of her outstanding contribution to the cruising industry.’  

In 2010 she won the Neil Frazer Award for ‘outstanding contribution to the cruise industry,’ elevating her to CLIA Australasia’s hall of fame.

She has been the Australasia correspondent for Seatrade Cruise Review since 1997 and for Seatrade Insider (now Seatrade Cruise News) since its launch in 2000.


Less than a week after P&O Cruises Australia’s Pacific Explorer was forced to return to Sydney briefly during a three-day cruise to nowhere so that police could remove unruly passengers, police have been called to Carnival Cruise Line’s Carnival Legend that was making an 11-night round voyage from Melbourne.

Steve McLaughlin, vp sales Australasia for Oceania Cruises, co-hosted a Valentine’s dinner for media aboard Regatta with Steve Odell, svp and md Asia Pacific of Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings, before the 684-passenger ship set sail from Sydney late in the evening of February 14.

Steve Odell, svp and md Asia Pacific for Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings and Lisa Pile, vp sales Australia and New Zealand for Regent Seven Seas Cruises, showcased Regent Seven Seas Navigator’s recent bow-to-stern makeover when the luxury yacht-style ship docked in Sydney on Thursday on a 137-day Los Angeles/Los Angeles world voyage.

Navigator had arrived from New Zealand and sailed in the evening, heading for Perth.The aptly-named Seven Seas Navigator visited Australia in February  2002 on the first round-world voyage operated by what was then Radisson Seven Seas Cruises. Odell was unapologetic when he told his media guests, who lunched in the signature Compass Rose Restaurant, that Regent Seven Seas Cruises is the most expensive cruise line.

‘You don’t go to Gucci and ask for a discount,’ he said. ‘Our prices don’t come down. The top suites are always first to sell out and an average fare per couple for a 14-night cruise is around A$20,000.

‘It is not about the price -- it is what is included.’

Pile, who said around 50% of passengers are repeaters, said the company is launching its future itineraries earlier than ever and this has led to an early booking curve.

She said the 2020/21 itineraries will be announced in August.Photo:  Helen Hutcheon

There are 12 Australians on board Viking Sun, which is making Viking Cruises’ sold-out 141-day inaugural world voyage that left Miami on December 15 for London.

P&O Cruises Australia’s 1,998-passenger Pacific Explorer was forced to return to Sydney on Sunday so that police could remove a group of people involved in a brawl on Saturday night.

The Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the Townsville Port Expansion Project has been approved by the Australian Government.

Brett Jardine has been named as the future md of the Council of Australian Tour Operators (CATO).

People around Australia and the world have been captivated by the adventures of Harri, a rose-breasted female cockatoo.

Hot on the heels of the announcement that Ponant has moved to bigger premises in North Sydney to cope with the company’s growth in Australia, comes news that Debra Kearney has been appointed to the newly created role of business development manager for New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory.

Carnival Cruise Line president Christine Duffy, who is visiting Sydney from Miami this week, announced the 3,900-passenger Carnival Splendor will be permanently based in Sydney from December 2019.

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