Carnival Australia CEO, Ann Sherry’s Philosophy To Vacationing

Breaking News: Australian Financial Review Named Ann Sherry Australia's Most Influential Woman….

"Women from all walks of life across Australia know of Ann Sherry. They know of her sustained work for women, minority groups, business and the arts and her outstanding reputation of making a real difference," BHP director and 2015 Awards judge Carolyn Hewson said. "She is a woman of great influence and we thank her."

Ann told the Financial Review that of the lessons learned over her career, she would tell her younger self to take more risks. "Try new things, grab opportunities," she said. "Be tenacious. The world will change, things will go wrong. Life is messy."


To Carnival Australia CEO, Ann Sherry, vacations are not only an opportunity to create unforgettable experiences but, they are also a chance to indulge in pure relaxation, and spend quality time with her family.

Ann grew up in Gympie where her parents ran pharmacies.  Attending university in Brisbane – where she discovered economics and politics – she fell in love with her now husband, Michael Hogan.  They were 18 when they met, married at 20, and gave birth to their only son, Nick when she was 21.

Since taking over Carnival Australia, Ann has led record industry growth to make cruising the fastest growing sector of Australian and New Zealand tourism.  In fact, under her guidance the region is the fastest growing cruise market in the world.

In 2007, the year she became CEO, about 260,000 Australians took a cruise. A few years later, speaking at a travel conference she told the audience she predicted that one million Australians would cruise by 2020.  Some were sceptical and some in the audience even laughed. But no one is questioning or laughing at that figure now. With more than 830,000 Australians cruising in 2013, Ann’s target of one million is likely to be met at least four years ahead of her ambition in 2016, if not before.

Here, in her own words, Ann shares her philosophy on vacationing…

“So my philosophy to vacationing is to go somewhere local as well as somewhere exotic each year.

North Stradbroke Island near Brisbane tops my list of favourite close to home destinations. It's just magic for great beaches, clear water and exceptional views. We've holidayed as a family there for years with relaxing beachside days interrupted by spirited beach cricket.

When it comes to exotic destinations, it's hard to go past cruising to get to places that might otherwise be difficult if not impossible to reach. Travel has never been more complicated, so the whole idea of strolling onto a beautiful ship, having your bags delivered to your stateroom and unpacking once before being taken to some of the most beautiful places in the world, is very appealing. Even more tantalising is being on cruise ships that are resorts in their own right where you can enjoy fine dining inspired by celebrity chefs such as Luke Mangan, Marco Pierre White or Todd English.

Planning vacations to fantastic destinations is an exciting part of the experience and, once getting there, seeing how reality matches up with the mind's eye view. The sights and sounds of an amazing Africa trip from Kenya into Uganda and across Lake Victoria to Tanganyika were unforgettable in every way.

There are still many places on the 'must do' list of exotic destinations: Antarctica, for one.

It's the cultural experiences that really enter the stratosphere of great holidays for me. We did a Seabourn cruise around the Black Sea, which had everything. It was a history and political tour in one, capped off with several days in Istanbul to soak up the colour and delights of this ancient city where Europe and Asia meet.

I also have a home and away theme when it comes to favourite hotels and resorts. A stay at the Sofitel Melbourne is always special for its panoramic views and impeccable service with a smile.

On the international scene, the Hyatt on the Bund in Shanghai is spectacular. In addition to the great views of the Bund, the high level view of the nearby cruise terminal always reminds me that I'm part of an exciting international business and that Asia is a strong emerging market for us."

Carnival Australia is part of Carnival Corporation who represent some the world's most popular cruise brands including Carnival Cruise Lines, Cunard Line, Holland America Line, P&O Cruises, P&O Cruises World Cruising, Princess Cruises and Seabourn. Together these brands represent approximately 80% of the Australian and New Zealand cruise market.

Personal tips:

  • Be ambitious – don't undersell your ability or capacity.
  • Take risks – grab opportunities.
  • Treat people you deal with respect – you may meet them again and need them.
  • Value your self, your time, your contribution – otherwise you'll be constantly behind or wondering why you're doing things.
  • Keep a sense of humour.


Ann gained her broad leadership experience in business and in the public sector.  Before joining Carnival Australia she had been an executive with Westpac Banking Corporation for over 13 years and prior to that was well known for her work with the Office of the Status of Women with the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet.

In 2001 Ann was awarded a Centenary Medal for improving access to banking services to disadvantaged communities and in 2004 an Order of Australia for her contribution to improving corporate governance and corporate management. 2009 saw her nominated as one of the Top 15 Women in Business in the world and, in

2011, listed in the FTSE 100 Women in Leadership report.  In 2013, she was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Letters by Macquarie University for her contribution to business and civil society.

Picture credits:

Thank you to Carnival Australia.

1. Ann Sherry; 2. Todd English Restaurant on QE2; 3. Seabourn Odyssey Pool Deck; 4. Seabourn Odyssey in Sydney; 5. Salt Grill P&O Pearl; 6. Seabourn Odyssey Main Dining Room

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