(FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla.) — More than 300 supporters and guests gathered at the Hyatt Regency Pier 66 in Fort Lauderdale recently to honor Jan Swartz, group president of Princess Cruises and Carnival Australia. The black-tie event, which included an auction in which safaris, cruises, jewelry and artwork were up for bid, raised more than $250,000.
Swartz is the first female recipient of the Seafarers’ House International Golden Compass Award, which is given each year to those who have achieved distinction in the maritime world, those whose vocation or avocation has been the sea, or those who have ministered to or otherwise assisted seafarers. The award is in its 21st year.
“Jan is such a special person and has a warmth and serious commitment to caring for the same seafarers who we care for,” said Seafarers’ House Executive Director Lesley Warrick. “This is an industry that has traditionally been a male bastion. Over the years, though, we have seen the involvement of greater numbers of women throughout the maritime industry and Jan is a shining star in her field."
As president of Princess Cruises, Swartz leads the world’s largest international premium cruise brand, overseeing a global cruise line and tour company with a fleet of 18 ships that carry 2 million passengers annually. The company is part of Carnival Corp.
“Tonight, we recognize and support the efforts of Seafarers’ House, who in turn support our officers and crew,” said Swartz, who earlier in the day toured Seafarers’ House. “I was struck by the passion that everyone has for caring for the physical, mental and spiritual health of the hundreds of thousands of mariners who come through their doors. It’s a safe haven for them to come ashore to relax and recharge.”
Other guests included Glenn Wiltshire, deputy port director, Port Everglades; Broward County Commissioner Chip LaMarca; past Golden Compass award recipient Joseph Farrell Jr., president and CEO of Resolve Marine Group; Cliff Berry, CBI founder; and Michael Kaczmarek, vice president of corporate shipbuilding at Carnival.
The Very Rev. Peter Eaton of the Episcopal Diocese of Southeast Florida gave the evening’s invocation.
“This ministry is a real light of hope and comfort and encouragement to the many people who work in the maritime industry,” said Eaton, whose predecessor helped to launch Seafarers’ House at Port Everglades in 1989. “The great thing about Seafarers’ House mission is that they are ready at any time to give the kind of help that people need.”
LaMarca presented Swartz with a proclamation designating May 13, 2017 as Jan Swartz Appreciation Day in Broward County. She has been with the global cruise line for 16 years. She began in March 2001 as vice president of strategy and business development and held various positions, including senior vice president of sales and customer service for both Princess sister brand Cunard, as well as president of Princess Cruises. In December, she was promoted to her newest role as group president of Princess Cruises and Carnival Australia.
Past Golden Compass Award recipients include artist, philanthropist and entrepreneur Dr. Guy Harvey; president and CEO of Resolve Marine Group, Joseph Farrell Jr.; international seafaring hero Capt. Richard Phillips; Roberto Giorgi, V. Ships; Dan Sten Olsson, Stena Sphere; Adam Goldstein, Royal Caribbean International; Stein Kruse, Holland America Line; Capt. Nicola Arena, MSC Cruises; Thomas B. Crowley Jr., Crowley Maritime Corp.; and Cliff Berry, CBI founder.