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CLIA's Kelly Craighead is Emerald Sakara godmother

Kelly Craighead will preside over the naming festivities for Emerald Sakara Dec. 2 in San Juan, Puerto Rico
Kelly Craighead, president and CEO, Cruise Lines International Association, will serve as the godmother for Emerald Sakara.

Emerald Cruises' second yacht is due to enter service in August in the Mediterranean, and the naming festivities are set for the Caribbean, on Dec. 2 in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

'Kelly portrays perfectly what we find special about Emerald Sakara, whose translated name means "thoughts become things," a meaning that represents both how we designed and built Emerald Sakara, and how we view Kelly’s leadership and contributions to the cruise industry as she guided us through some of our most challenging times, only to emerge stronger than ever,' said Ken Muskat, managing director of Scenic Group USA.

'Kelly’s unwavering commitment to our valued travel advisors and to responsible tourism at sea and in destinations around the globe aligns with Emerald Cruises’ passion for growth and success,' he added.

Pandemic leadership

Craighead leads the association of cruise lines which has a network of more than 75,000 travel trade members and stakeholders globally. She joined CLIA in 2019 and through the pandemic guided the effort to help ensure the long-term viability of cruising and the ability to safely return to operations. In 2023, the cruise industry is projected to carry 31.5m passengers, surpassing 2019's 29.7m. 

Craighead also serves as vice chair and executive director of the Cruise Industry Charitable Foundation, a nonprofit devoted to improving the quality of life in communities served by the cruise business. Her leadership on sustainable tourism has helped position the industry in a better place than it was three years ago and on its way to achieving carbon reduction goals for 2030 and net carbon-neutral ship operations by 2050.

Before CLIA, Craighead served as the US government’s senior representative for travel and tourism and the first deputy assistant secretary for travel and tourism at the US Department of Commerce.

'Positive thoughts manifest reality'

'The name Sakara reflects my deep personal belief that positive thoughts manifest reality, and the strong rebound of cruise from the past few years, along with our commitment to a future of sustainable cruising, demonstrates the optimism that drives this industry forward every day,' Craighead said. She added that Emerald Cruises’ 'Cherish the Planet' ethos, in accordance with the United Nations Sustainable Development goals, 'aligns with CLIA’s work around environmentally responsible tourism and protecting the destinations we visit.'

Emerald Sakara is the sister of 2022's Emerald Azzurra. This year the pair of 100-passenger yachts will sail in the Mediterranean, Adriatic Sea and Caribbean.