Clia has appointed is new director general for Europe, with Tom Boardley starting his planned transition to the role of Clia secretary general.
Ukko Metsola joins the association from Royal Caribbean Group where he served as vice-president for government relations in Europe and Asia-Pacific.
The association said Metsola would oversee "a critical transitional phase" for the cruise industry as it seeks to safely resume operations.
In his previous political career, Metsola held senior positions in the Finnish parliament and in the office of the Finnish prime minister.
Kelly Craighead, Clia president and chief executive, said he wanted to thank Boardley for his contribution during his stint at secretary general, particularly his leadership during the early stages of the coronavirus crisis.
"Tom will continue his association with Clia in an advisory role and will assist with Ukko’s transition," said Craighead.
"As we move into the next critical stage of our return to service, I am delighted Ukko Metsola has agreed to lead us in Europe and drive forward our industry engagement with the EU Institutions.
"Ukko’s in-depth knowledge of the cruise sector combined with his wealth of experience in public policy and European Union affairs makes him a perfect fit for this leadership role at such a pivotal moment for our industry.”
Metsola added: “I’m delighted for the opportunity to represent an industry that supports a diverse and extensive maritime cluster, encompassing businesses across the continent, from the family-run tour operator to the great European shipyards and their suppliers.
"With its strong European roots and commitment to innovation, collaboration and sustainability, the cruise industry can contribute to the future economic recovery and partner constructively in the European green growth agenda.”