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Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) Australasia has announced the finalists for its 21st Cruise Industry Awards ahead of a sold-out celebration in March.

A total of 79 finalists have been chosen from across Australia and New Zealand and will be in the running to win one of cruising’s highest honours.

More than 800 entries were received for this year’s awards with 18 categories to be judged, including 11 open to self-nomination or peer-nomination.

Key categories include Agency of the Year, Cruise Consultant of the Year, Home-Based Cruise Agent/Broker of the Year, Rising Star, Cruise Champion, Promotion of the Year and a Media Award.

CLIA Managing Director in Australasia Joel Katz said this year’s award nominations reflected this region’s growing community of successful travel agents.

“This year’s nominees include not only the most successful and high-profile travel agents in our community, but also a new and determined generation of travel agents who are part of our expanded CLIA membership,” Katz said.

“All these travel agents have been a big part of the spectacular comeback cruising has achieved in Australia and New Zealand, so our 21st Cruise Industry Awards will recognise their enormous contribution to our industry’s success.”

Hosted by entertainer Tim Campbell, CLIA’s 21st Cruise Industry Awards will be held at The Star Event Centre in Sydney on Saturday March 9.

A full list of finalists can be found here.