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November 12, 2020 36 min

This episode of Lessons from Leaders is brought to you by Smart Meetings, the go-to source of information for meeting and event professionals. For more information on Smart Meetings, please go to

Our guest on this episode is Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line, the biggest brand of global cruise industry leader Carnival Corp., the world’s largest leisure travel company. She captains a company that annually hosts more than five million guests and employs more than 40,000 people who hail from 110 nations around the globe.

Since joining Carnival in 2015, Duffy has led the company's incredible growth and is overseeing the construction of two new ships that will be delivered in 2021 and 2022 that will lead the introduction of liquefied natural gas (LNG) cruise vessels in North America, and feature the first roller coaster at sea. Duffy's “people first” philosophy makes her an accessible and approachable leader whose mission is to leverage Carnival's commitment to delivering safe, fun and memorable vacations to a growing customer base.

Prior to Carnival, Duffy spent four years as president and CEO of the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA), the trade association representing the global cruise industry.  Before her time at CLIA, she spent 10 years at Maritz Travel Company, the world’s largest corporate meeting, events and incentive travel company, where she served six years as president and CEO.

An active participant and tireless supporter of the hospitality industry, Duffy serves on multiple boards including Herschend Family Entertainment and Aimbridge Hospitality.  She is first vice-chair of the U.S. Travel Association and sits on the Professional Advisory Board of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

Duffy has been a strong supporter of women’s leadership in the travel industry. A member of The Committee of 200, she has been honored by the Convention Industry Council, the U.S. Coast Guard, the Commonwealth Institute of South Florida, and the South Florida Business Journal, among others.

Tune in to hear how Christine went from a $200 a week salary as a travel agent to running Carnival Cruise Line. Her fascinating story is an inspirational tale of persistence, hard work, risk-taking, and learning from mentors.


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