In his eighties, Hélary started his career at Compagnie Générale Transatlantique, emblematic owner of the liner France.
Responsible for sales development, he consistently put his expertise into promoting cruise travel as a real style of holiday.
Throughout his career Hélary worked with many cruise companies and was the co-founder of Croisimer and AFCC (Association Française des Compagnies de Croisières), the two associations which later became CLIA France, where he was honorary chairman.
Loved and respected by those who knew him, 'Jean-Claude Hélary played a major role in the development of cruising in France. We all owe him a great debt of gratitude and shall remember a friendly person with a rare dynamism,' commented Georges Azouze, president of CLIA France. 'We have lost a friend and the cruise community is grieving,' he added.
A private burial will take place in Normandy on November 18 at Saint-Marie au Bosq cemetery.