Cruise Europe Announces Simone Maraschi as Newly Elected Chair at Annual Conference in Stockholm


Stockholm, Sweden, 14 May 2024 – Cruise Europe, the leading association representing ports across Europe, is thrilled to announce the election of Simone Maraschi as its new Chairperson.

With a wealth of experience and a deep commitment to the cruise industry, Simone Maraschi brings a fresh perspective and innovative vision to Cruise Europe. His election marks an exciting new chapter for the association as it continues to navigate the evolving landscape of the cruise industry.

Expressing gratitude for his outstanding stewardship over the past 12 years, Cruise Europe extends heartfelt thanks to Captain Michael McCarthy for his unwavering dedication and remarkable contributions to the organization. Under his guidance, Cruise Europe has achieved significant milestones, solidifying its position as a vital entity within the global cruise community.

Membership has grown substantially during his tenure, as Jens Skrede, Managing Director of Cruise Europe comments: "Michael's appointment as Chair in April 2012 was pivotal. Slowly but steadily, we implemented changes to win back port members who had left, such as Southampton, Hamburg, Reykjavik, Tromsø, or Bordeaux. Now, 12 years later, we can proudly say that our recruitment drive was successful. Membership has grown from less than 90 to almost 150 under Michael’s chairmanship. This growth has been key to keeping Cruise Europe´s competitive fee structure.“

"I am honoured and humbled to have been elected as Chair of Cruise Europe," said Simone Maraschi. "I am passionate about fostering collaboration between ports and cruise lines to ensure a sustainable and prosperous future for our industry. Together, we can overcome challenges, seize opportunities, and deliver exceptional experiences for cruise passengers."

Simone Maraschi, who is Managing Director of Cruise Gate Hamburg GmbH, the operator of Hamburg’s cruise centres, brings vast expertise from the national and international cruise industry. His leadership and dedication will be instrumental in guiding Cruise Europe forward as it seeks to drive innovation and promote new technologies and practices that minimize the environmental impact, while at the same time striving for a balance that benefits all stakeholders – ports, cruise lines and destinations.

The election of Simone Maraschi took place during the Annual Conference of Cruise Europe in Stockholm, where industry leaders, port representatives, and stakeholders gathered to discuss key issues facing the cruise industry and explore opportunities for growth and collaboration.

"We are delighted to welcome Simone as the new Chair of Cruise Europe," said Jens Skrede. "His passion for the cruise industry and proven track record of leadership make him the ideal candidate to lead our association into the future. We look forward to working closely with Simone to further strengthen our ambitions for networking and knowledge-sharing among members and cruise lines and to drive continued growth in the European cruise market.“

As Chair of Cruise Europe, Simone Maraschi will work collaboratively with members, stakeholders, and industry partners to address challenges, identify opportunities, and advocate for policies that support the long-term success of the cruise industry in Europe.


For media inquiries or further information, please contact:
Jens Skrede, Managing Director Cruise Europe
+47 917 81 441


Photograph LtoR: Captain Michael McCarthy, Simone Maraschi and Jens Skrede (Credit Susan Parker/Cruise Europe)


About Cruise Europe
Cruise Europe is a business to business network of cruise ports and destinations in Northern & Atlantic Europe. The Association started in 1991 with 27 members as the first cruise industry network in Europe, and has now grown to around 140 members in over 20 countries. On behalf of its members, the Association provides the broader cruise industry with a professional and reliable partnership adding value for the cruise lines and their guests. For more information, visit