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Seatrade Cruise Awards winners announced at Seatrade Cruise Med

Chris Theophilides, center, was recognized as Seatrade Cruise Personality of the Year. At left is V.Ships Leisure's Per Bjørnsen and at right, Seatrade's Mary Bond
Celestyal Cruises' Chris Theophilides, Cruise Baltic/CruiseCopenhagen's Claus Bødker, the Black Sea ports, Italy's Port of Taranto, Hapag-Lloyd Cruises' Finnish and Swedish Lapland expedition, Abercrombie & Kent/Akorn's Mombasa, Carnival Cruise Line's DEI, Galataport Istanbul, Climeon and Environmental Port Index were all winners at the 2022 Seatrade Cruise Awards.

The awards were announced Wednesday evening at the Seatrade Cruise Med Welcome Reception in Málaga.

By category

Destination of the Year: Port of Taranto, Italy

Expedition Cruise Initiative of the Year: Hapag-Lloyd Cruises’ Finnish and Swedish Lapland expedition

Innovative Shorex of the Year: Abercrombie & Kent (Akorn) – Mombasa: Past and Present

Investment in People Award: Carnival Cruise Line’s DEI, learning and community initiatives

Port of the Year: Galataport Istanbul

Product of the Year: Climeon HeatPower 300 Marine Technology

Sustainability Initiative of the Year: Environmental Port Index

MedCruise Award: The Black Sea Ports (Burgas, Bulgaria; Constantza, Romania; Odesa, Ukraine; Trabzon, Turkey and Varna, Bulgaria)

Seatrade Cruise Personality of the Year: Chris Theophilides, CEO, Celestyal Cruises

Seatrade Outstanding Achievement Award: Claus Bødker, director, Cruise Baltic & CruiseCopenhagen

Bødker was recognized for working steadfastly to 'champion the Baltic region and Copenhagen, fostering great networking and collaboration,' said Mary Bond, group director of Seatrade Cruise. Earlier this year his efforts were rewarded when 19 cruise lines signed a memorandum of understanding for the use of shore power in the Baltic region.

‘Our winner has worked in the cruise industry for a short eight years but anyone who has met him, worked alongside him or been at meetings with him will endorse this choice from the many nominations we received,’ Bond  added.

Bødker recently stepped down from his dual role due to illness affecting his mobility so Cruise Baltic’s Ida Katrine Skarrup received the award on his behalf. Bødker sent a thank-you video telling everyone to 'look after the cruise industry.'

Chris Theophilides

Theophilides was awarded the Seatrade Cruise Personality of the Year Award sponsored by V.Ships Leisure and presented by Per Bjørnsen, CEO, V.Ship Leisure, and Bond.

Mediterranean-born Theophilides has worked in cruising for 15 years, holding a range of senior management roles and rising to CEO four years ago. His particular strengths are strategic planning and financing, which he put into practice late last year by securing a cash injection for Celestyal Cruises.

Some of this funding will go to upgrading the fleet for a brand that champions mid-sized vessel cruising and delivering authentic experiences, amplifying its Greek roots.

'It’s a huge honor especially at a time where the perseverance of cruise industry has been tested,' Theophilides said. 'The whole industry has a great benefit of an excellent number of executives, it is a huge honor to work amongst them the last two years, and it’s very humbling to be singled out and awarded this accolade.'

More than 120 nominations

'The Seatrade Cruise Awards program recognises the best in the cruise industry, setting new standards for innovation, creativity and technology,' Bond said. 'These awards are a testament to our resilient sector and the vision of those who drive it. We congratulate our recipients and express gratitude to our group of judges for their efforts in selecting our prestigious winners.'

The winners were determined by an independent panel of leading voices from across the international cruise community, from consultants to professors, editors to operations executives.

Sponsored by Oracle Hospitality

Sponsored by Oracle Hospitality and Ocean Technologies Group, the awards were presented by Bond alongside Ingo Sørensen, area VP, global cruise sales, Oracle Hospitality, and Joost van Ree, as well as Cruise Baltic’s Skaarup and V.Ships Leisure’s Bjørnsen.

Finalists for the 2022 Seatrade Awards were announced in early August.