Duffy replaces former president and CEO Gerry Cahill who led the brand through its parent company’s roughest period following the “poop cruise” onboard the Carnival Triumph and the crash of Costa Concordia, the Costa Cruises ship.
Both Costa Cruises and Carnival are owned by parent company and the world’s largest cruise line operator, Carnival Corp., which has nine brands including Carnival, Princess Cruises, Holland America Line, Seabourn, Cunard, Costa Cruises, AIDA Cruises, P&O Cruises and P&O Cruises Australia.
Carnival Corporation raised its full-year earnings forecast in September after reporting third-quarter profit that beat estimates as more passengers took trips.
Duffy has led CLIA, the largest trade organization made up of cruise industry stakeholders and travel agents, since 2010 and served as president and CEO of corporate meetings and incentives company Maritz Travel before that.
The cruise industry is one of the most welcoming of travel sectors to female executives. Lisa Lutoff-Perlo is president and CEO of Celebrity Cruises, Jan Swartz is president of Princess Cruises, and Edie Bornstein is president of Crystal Cruises. Each of these women worked in senior level roles in cruise companies before their current appointments.