CEC 2024
© Per-Erik Adamsson

Cruise Conference 2024 - 13th - 16th May Stockholm

I am delighted to welcome our loyal members, cruise line executives, press and other stakeholders to Stockholm.

Following very successful Cruise Europe Conferences in Edinburgh and Lisbon, our members have decided that this years port of call is Stockholm.
Stockholm, the capital city of Sweden, is one of the most beautiful cities in Europe located right between the lake Mälaren and the Baltic sea.
You are never far from the water in this fantastic city, and the archipelago is a must see attraction.

Stockholm is also a vibrant and modern Scandinavic city with Michelin star cuisine, bars and nightlife.
Add cultural attractions like the Vasa Museum and you have a world class destination.

Stockholm is a marquee cruise port, and is very often included in itineraries to the Baltic sea.
At Cruise Europe, we want to support our loyal Baltic members who have seen a reduction in the number of calls since the Ukraine war started.
We will highlight the many benefits of taking a cruise in the Baltic sea in our 3 days Cruise Europe Conference in Stockholm.

Welcome to the Cruise Europe Conference.

Jens Skrede, Managing Director of Cruise Europe

CEC 2024
© CE

Destination Stockholm

Built on 14 islands surrounded by vast open water, Stockholm has a unique and unforgettable character. You might be in a cosmopolitan capital city but you’re never far from a picturesque park or other scenic walking spot. We have an impressive selection of historic sights and attractions, art galleries and museums - many within easy walking distance of one another.

Not to mention, our city is widely publicized as one of the world’s most dynamic, creative and exciting metropolises. Stockholm is the birthplace of cutting-edge fashion and design, a gastronomic hotspot with myriad bars and restaurants, and a capital of culture where music and art flourish.

Ports of Stockholm make the perfect choice for cruise calls. Situated in the heart of the Baltic region, there’s everything you need for pre- and post-cruise stays in close proximity, including first-rate hotels, frequent overseas flight connections and effective ground handling and tour services.

Among the world’s largest passenger ports, Ports of Stockholm provides facilities and services for ferry, cruise and freight traffic in Stockholm, Nynäshamn and Kapellskär. In a normal year, 16 million passengers pass through the ports, the majority of them sailing to and from Finland, the Baltics, Poland and Sweden’s largest island, Gotland.
Approximately half of all cruise liners visiting Stockholm each year call at Frihamnen. Stockholm Cruise Centre Frihamnen is a modern cruise terminal dedicated to turnarounds, with the Freeport Cruise Terminal equipped to accommodate high numbers of passengers simultaneously arriving and departing.

Welcome to Stockholm!

© Stockholm


Tuesday 14th May


10:00 - 11:30


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Regional meetings

13:00 - 14:30


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15:30 - 16:30

Internal Cruise Europe meetings

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Informal get-together
including drinks and meal
19:30 - 23:00
Cruise and ferry terminal

Wednesday 15st May

International cruise conference

09:00 - 16:00


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Evening Gala Dinner

19:30 - 24:00


Munich Brewery

Thursday 16th May

Excursions for delegates,
speakers and press


All excursions end at
Stockholm Arlanda Airport

Programme as PDF download

© Visit Stockholm, Oskar Scheller

Conference Registration

Click here to open the Registration form


Fabian Nissen | Manager Port Operations | Carnival Maritime GmbH

Fabian joined Carnival Maritime in December 2023 and holds the position as Manager Port Operations. In his role Fabian is responsible for all port-related matters in the regions of Northern Europe, Baltic, Canary Islands and the Middle East for AIDA Cruises and Costa Cruises. Prior to joining Carnival Maritime, Fabian started his career supervising turnaround operations in German ports and sailing several contracts onboard cruise ships.

CEC 2024

Gesa Hoofdmann | Manager Port Bookings | Carnival Maritime GmbH

Since 2019, Gesa has been leading the port booking process for AIDA Cruises and Costa Cruises and is responsible for worldwide port bookings. She works closely with Carnival Maritime's itinerary planners, brands deployment teams we well as port authorities and agents worldwide. She focuses on long term strategic port bookings as well as short term adjustments in response to various challenges. Prior to joining Carnival Maritime, Gesa sailed aboard Holland America Line ships and worked as a port agent in Hamburg, handling cruise ships overseeing port operations and passenger logistics in Hamburg.

CEC 2024

Marie Blitza | Director Port Operations | Carnival Maritime GmbH

As Director Port Operations, Marie is responsible for worldwide port operations and itinerary planning for Costa Cruises and AIDA Cruises. In this role, Marie works in collaboration with various stakeholders in ports & destinations, authorities, port agents and government agencies. Working closely with key departments in both brands the focus is on safe and compliant port operations, identifying opportunities to contribute to an efficient itinerary and port planning process, as well as strategic and sustainable itinerary planning.
Prior to joining Carnival Maritime GmbH as Manager Port Operations in 2016, Marie’s started her career in the cruise industry in port agency and ground operations, overseeing port operations and passenger logistics in the three main German cruise ports.

Marie holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in International Cruise Industry Management and a Master's degree in Marketing Management (MBA).

CEC 2024

James Cabello | Head of Port, Marina & Shoreside Operations | Marc-Henry Cruise Holdings LTD | Joint Owner/Operator | FOUR SEASONS YACHTS

James brings nearly 30 years of extensive experience in executive roles both shoreside and on board, showcasing his deep expertise in the cruise industry. Currently serving as Head of Port and Shoreside Operations for Four Seasons Yachts, James oversees not only Port Operations, but he also handles private concierge services and meticulously curates pre and post arrangements, ensuring unparalleled guest experiences.

In his previous role, James played a pivotal role in shaping the deployment strategy for Mystic Cruises and its affiliate brands. He spearheaded port operations, shore excursions, and co-developed the expedition program, elevating the onboard product with innovative activities and entertainment offerings.

Prior to his tenure at Mystic, James held a significant position at SeaDream Yacht Club, where he ascended to Vice President - Deployment, Destinations, Land Programs & Charter Operations. During this time, he substantially expanded the destination portfolio by 82%, introducing over two hundred new destinations and expeditions.

James's journey in the cruise industry began as a Entertainer and Cruise Director for esteemed cruise lines including Seabourn, Sea Goddess, Holland America Line, Costa Crociere, Sun Line/Royal Olympic (Stella Solaris), and American Hawaii Cruises. His passion for fostering close relationships with destination partners, associations and friends has taken him to over 650 destinations worldwide.

Born and raised in Western New York, James's connection to the Lower Niagara River and Lake Ontario runs deep. While currently based in Italy with his family, he remains actively engaged, frequently traveling to corporate offices to drive innovation and excellence within the industry.

CEC 2024

Sandra Neffgen | Director Shore Excursions | AIDA Cruises

Sandra is Shore Excursion Executive for AIDA Cruises and is responsible for the Shore Excursion Program – Procurement, Planning, Operations and Product Development worldwide for the AIDA brand.

She has worked on-board several AIDA vessels as Shore Operations Manager and cruised throughout the Caribbean, Canary Islands, the Baltic and Western Mediterranean before joining the shoreside organization 13 years ago.

After studying tourism and working overseas Sandra made first experience in cruise business in booking future cruises at the beginning of her journey with AIDA Cruises.

CEC 2024

Justin Poulsen I VP, Itinerary Planning & Destination Development|Silversea Cruises

As Vice President, Itinerary Planning and Destination Development, Justin is responsible for leading teams that develop the long term deployment strategy for both Classic and Expedition fleets, write day by day itineraries, and perform rigorous destination scouting – including research, community engagement and identifying opportunities to co-develop and implement sustainable tourism and local economic development initiatives.

Justin has held positions in Itinerary Planning and Revenue management for Holland America Line, and previously for Silversea between 2017 and 2020. Before returning to Silversea, he was Executive Director at the New York City Economic Development Corporation, managing waterfront assets including the Brooklyn and Manhattan Cruise Terminals, heliports, waterfront railroads and marine terminals. Justin was also Executive Director of the New Bedford Port Authority, overseeing the United States’ largest fishing port by landed catch value.

Justin holds a BSc in Marine Transportation from the California Maritime Academy, and an Executive MBA from Politecnico di Milano Graduate School of Business, with a focus on Innovation and Change Management.

CEC 2024

Chris Martin | Senior Director, Marine and Port Operations | Holland America Line and Seabourn

Chris Martin joined Holland America Line in January 2004 as Manager, Port Operations, administering all port-related matters worldwide for the fleet. Over the years, his responsibilities have included new and existing port development, strategic planning for vessel deployment, and implementing new initiatives with regulatory agencies. Chris was promoted to Director, Port Operations in October 2009. With the formation of the Holland America Group in December 2014, he was responsible for managing port operations for Princess Cruises, Holland America Line, Seabourn, and P&O Australia in key regions around the world. When the Holland America Group was restructured in January 2023, Chris returned to Holland America Line and Seabourn where he was promoted to Senior Director and now oversees global port operations for both brands.

Prior to joining Holland America Line, Chris spent 9 years with Princess Cruises and Tours managing land-based divisions in Alaska and developing new port agency, shore operations, and port services for emerging destinations.

Chris holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Business from the University of Puget Sound and a Master of Science in Management Communication from the University of Portland. He currently resides in Seattle, Washington with his wife and three kids.

CEC 2024

Marcus Puttich, Senior Head of Port Management & Operations, TUI Cruises

Marcus Puttich, a certified ship agent by the Hamburg Chamber of Commerce, started his career in the port agency department of Biehl & Company in the ports of Houston and New York. Before joining TUI Cruises in January 2014, Marcus received Bachelor of Arts degree in Cruise Industry Management from the Bremerhaven University of Applied Sciences and graduated with a Master of Science with Distinction in Maritime Operations from the Liverpool John Moores University.

Marcus currently holds the position of Director Destinations at TUI Cruises and is in charge for all operational, planning, sourcing and development aspects of Port Operations (both brands Mein Schiff and Hapag-Lloyd Cruises), Tour Operations and Ground Operations (only Mein Schiff). His responsibilities include, but are not limited to, the port agency, ground agency and tour operator selection, as well as the governmental, economic and operational aspects for all ports of call, as well as strategic decision-making in the port operations, ground operations and tour operations of TUI Cruises.

CEC 2024

Nikos Mertzanidis Vice-President, Ports & Destinations and Taxation Cruise Lines International Association

Nikos Mertzanidis is Vice-President, Ports & Destinations and Taxation at Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) where he is responsible for developing, presenting, negotiating, and implementing industry positions on legislative, regulatory, and policy matters around an agenda for sustainable growth in ports & destinations, and taxation issues. In addition, he is the designated Secretary to the CLIA Europe Port & Destination Advisory Committee, the Global Tax Committee, and the Europe Taxation Working Group.
Mertzanidis joined CLIA in 2016 as Manager, European Government Affairs and was promoted to Director in 2020, and to his present position in 2024.

Prior to joining CLIA, Mertzanidis was a political advisor, working on the Constitutional Affairs Committee of the European Parliament, and later joined Imperial Brands Ltd. where he was the chief lobbyist focused on EU legislation for FMCG, taxation, new generation products, and consumer affairs.

A seasoned government and public affairs professional, with expertise in global public affairs, policy making and European business regulation, Mertzanidis is a long-standing member of the International Political Science Association and the Society of European Affairs Professionals.

Born and raised in Greece, he studied political science and international relations at the University of Macedonia in Greece, working in parallel for the UNESCO Chair for Intercultural Policy. In 2009, he earned his Master’s degree in International Politics at the University of Aberystwyth in Wales, and in 2022, he submitted his PhD, with an emphasis on International Relations, to the University of Macedonia.

CEC 2024

Debbie Holbrook | Director | Deployment & Itinerary Planning

Debbie Holbrook serves as the Director of Deployment & Itinerary Planning at Princess Cruises. She is responsible for the strategic deployment and itinerary planning of the Princess fleet of 16 ships including their newest Sun Princess which set sail this year. Along with her team this includes launching over 650 voyages carrying over 1.8 million passengers annually. Debbie is a dedicated community leader, serving on the Princess Cruises Community Foundation, and she finds joy in supporting local charitable events and serving on nonprofit boards.

CEC 2024

Maria Tauschke Head of Shore Operations at TUI Cruises

Maria Tauschke holds the position of Head of Shore Operations at TUI Cruises and is in charge for the worldwide operational aspects of Port Operations, Ground Operations and Tour Operations for the Mein Schiff fleet and for all aspects of Port Operations for the Hapag-Lloyd Cruises fleet including short term itinerary changes for both brands. Maria Tauschke, started her career working on board of cruise ships within the department of Shore Operations in 2012 - her last position being a Port Operations Manager, before joining TUI Cruises in 2015. Maria has a Bachelor of Arts degree in International Tourism Management and a Master of Science degree in Business Psychology.

CEC 2024

Nicholas (Nicky) Guerrero

Nicky was born and raised in the British Overseas Territory of Gibraltar. He was educated in Gibraltar and at Brighton Polytechnic, now the University of Brighton, UK. He is a graduate of hospitality.

In his career he has worked in the hotel, hospitality and tourism industry and in 1997 joined the Gibraltar Tourist Board, where he carried out the roles of Product Manager and Sales and Marketing Manager. Nicky was then Chief Executive of the Gibraltar Tourist Board for the latter half of his time there, before retiring after twenty-four years at the Board in 2021.

The Chief Executive’s role included an extensive programme of marketing the destination outside of Gibraltar. Other tasks included liaising with the airline industry, including route development and working extensively with the cruise industry. Nicky held the post of Director for Events and Partnerships on the Board of Directors of MedCruise, the Association of Mediterranean Cruise Ports. Nicky was the Secretary General of MedCruise in 2023. Nicky was appointed Director of the International Cruise Summit in 2024.

In the past, Nicky has represented Gibraltar at the International Cruise Summit and at all MedCruise and Seatrade events, including Seatrade Cruise Global in the USA, for the last 25 years. Nicky is widely known and respected in the cruise, airline and tourism industry at all levels.

Nicky is now an independent consultant and specialises in the cruise industry, airline industry, marketing and communications industry and has extensive experience in event management. Having had experience in broadcasting, one of his many strengths includes that of presenting and moderating events and discussion panels, as he has done in the past for the ICS, MedCruise and Seatrade. Nicky is a keen commercial aviation enthusiast and enjoys many extracurricular activities, including amateur dramatics. He is fluent in English and Spanish and is highly competent in French.

CEC 2024


© Stockholm


Clarion Sign

About the hotel

With a central location, close to shopping and restaurants and only 5 minutes walk from the Arlanda express train, The Clarion Hotel Sign offers bright hotel rooms and modern conference spaces with exceptional Scandinavian design. The popular Selma City Spa is located on the 8th floor, from where you can enjoy fantastic views of Kungsholmen. Hotel guests have priority access and reduced entry rates.

Clarion Hotel Sign offers rooms designed to be accessible to guests with wheelchairs and also for those with hearing and visual impairments. Please don't hesitate to contact the hotel for more information about their specially configured rooms for disabled guests, wheelchair access and specially configured facilities.

Registration Hotel

Click here for Registration

Stockholm Gallery


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