President, Carnival Cruise Line
Christine Duffy is president of Carnival Cruise Line, certified as a Great Place to Work™ and the flagship brand of Miami-based global cruise industry leader Carnival Corp., the world’s largest leisure travel company. As president, she leads a company with a fleet of 25 ships, sailing nearly six million guests annually and employing more than 40,000 people who hail from 120 nations around the globe. Christine has served the company in this role since 2015 after a successful tenure as president and CEO of the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA), which represents the $120 billion global cruise industry.
Carnival homeports its ships in North America, Europe and Australia and sails to more than 100 destinations in nearly 40 countries. Under Christine’s leadership, Carnival was the first major U.S. cruise line to have its entire fleet back in guest operations after the industry-wide pause related to the COVID pandemic. The company is now in a rapid growth phase that began in the summer of 2022 with the acquisition of five new ships through 2024. In March 2023, Carnival reached a major milestone for the industry as the first cruise line to embark 100 million guests since its first sailing in 1972. Since joining Carnival, Christine has already overseen the introduction of six new ships, most recently the debut of Carnival Celebration in November 2022 to cap off Carnival’s year-long 50th birthday celebration. In June 2023, Carnival Venezia will begin sailing year-round from New York and then Carnival Jubilee will join the fleet in December 2023 and sail from Galveston.
The Excel class ships represented by Carnival Celebration, Jubilee and sister ship Mardi Gras are leading the introduction of liquefied natural gas (LNG) cruise vessels in North America and feature the first roller coasters at sea. In 2018, Carnival opened a state-of-the-art Fleet Operations Center at its Miami headquarters that implements technology used by NASA and the U.S. Navy to monitor operations and improve real-time decision-making. Her “people first” business philosophy makes her an accessible and approachable leader as Carnival leverages its commitment to delivering safe, fun and memorable vacations to its millions of guests and growing customer base.
In 2023, she was re-appointed by the Secretary of Commerce to the United States Travel and Tourism Advisory Board. From 2020 to 2022, Christine served as chair of the U.S. Travel Association, the national, non-profit organization representing all components of the travel industry. She is a member of the board of directors of Aimbridge Hospitality, the global leader in hotel management services, and Herschend Family Entertainment, the nation’s largest family-owned operator of themed attractions, including Dollywood and Branson’s Silver Dollar City. She sits on the Professional Advisory Board of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital of which Carnival Cruise Line is the official celebration partner.
Christine joined the cruise industry in 2011 when she was named president and CEO of CLIA. While at CLIA, she elevated the industry’s profile before consumers, regulators, industry stakeholders and the media; led the adoption of the Cruise Passenger Bill of Rights to enhance the industry’s commitment to passenger safety, comfort and care; managed the industry response to several high-profile crises; and consolidated a network of 15 cruise industry organizations into one global association.
Prior to CLIA, Christine 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. In this capacity, she worked directly with a variety of Fortune 500 corporations in the automotive, pharmaceutical, financial services and technology sectors.
Christine has been a strong supporter of women’s leadership in the travel industry, leading initiatives that delivered research and programs to help women advance their careers. She was named by Women Leading Travel & Hospitality as one of its top women in travel and hospitality. Christine is also a member of The Committee of 200, an organization of the world’s most successful women business leaders that supports, celebrates and advances women’s leadership. She was recognized by Moves magazine as a 2016 Power Women recipient for her work in serving as a role model for future generations of young women. She has also been honored by the Convention Industry Council and the U.S. Coast Guard, among others. Christine was a member of the Joint Civilian Orientation Conference class of 2018, the nation’s oldest and most prestigious public liaison program for the Department of Defense.