Printer Friendly Booking Boatloads of Cruises; Web Site Sees More Than 300% Increase in Cruise Bookings.

FORT WORTH, Texas, July 10 /PRNewswire/ --

Travelers are surprising the experts. Despite industry predictions that travelers would not be interested in booking complicated travel products such as cruises online, cruise buyers are flocking to the Internet. And Inc. (Nasdaq: TVLY), the leading travel Web site, is booking cruises by the boatload.

"We have seen our cruise sales nearly quadruple this year," said Terrell B. Jones, president and chief executive officer of "We're offering outstanding itineraries from the leading cruise lines and using exceptional multimedia content to help our customers make informed buying decisions online. That's why one customer used to purchase -- entirely online, a $25,000 Mediterranean cruise package. And during a recent Norwegian Cruise Lines (NCL) promotion, more than 1,000 customers booked cruises in a little over a week. That's nearly the equivalent of an entire ship. With success like this we're certain that online cruise spending growth will continue with"

"The growth from has been impressive. Clearly they have found a formula to sell a more complex product online. We enjoy a strong partnership and applaud them on their innovation with online travel sales," said Andy Stuart, senior vice president of sales and marketing for NCL.

In the first four months of 2001, cruise sales increased more than 300 percent over the same period in 2000, selling nearly as much in the first four months of this year as it did in all of 2000. Furthermore, although January through March are traditionally the months when cruise sales peak, recorded its largest cruise sales in May. The growth has been consistent across all cruise lines offered by By the end of the year, the company expects to be within the top 10 sellers of cruise products in the U.S. in 2001.

"We're very happy with the significant increase in sales that has made in such a short amount of time. With this kind of growth, we expect them to be one of our top five sellers of cruise products," said Vicki L. Freed, CTC, senior vice president of sales and marketing for Carnival Cruise Lines. "It's easy to have such a successful marketing partnership when you both share the same commitment to offering quality and value to our customers."

With 100 percent of its cruise products fully bookable online, has led the industry in automating cruise bookings.'s cruise section gives members access to a diverse choice of cruise lines and the most comprehensive information on each ship. Members can browse from more than 1,000 ship images including video clips, cabin photos, virtual tours and ship deck plans, as well as a broad list of ship information and reviews. Whether travelers are searching by destination, length or specific cruise lines,'s sophisticated booking resources -- backed by experienced leisure travel representatives who members can call -- make charting a cruise vacation easy even for the first-time cruiser.

"Travelers are responding enthusiastically to's great selection of cruises and our tools that help make smart cruise decisions easy," said Chris McAndrews, senior vice president, leisure travel and media of "Our award-winning Cruises section makes cruise travel accessible to everyone and offers the most options to make effortless vacation planning a reality."

Just in time for the busy summer travel season, is launching a Summer Cruise Sale. From now through July 20, cruise bookers on will receive a MasterCard Travelers Check of $100 to $150 for most cruises of seven days or more. Destinations for this promotion include Alaska, Europe, the Caribbean, Hawaii, Mexico and beyond; sailings are offered from June through March 2002.

About Inc. (Nasdaq: TVLY), a database-driven travel marketing and transaction company, provides Internet and wireless reservations information for more than 700 airlines, more than 50,000 hotels and more than 50 car rental companies. In addition, offers more than 6,500 vacation packages, tour and cruise departures and a vast database of destination and interest information. employs more than 1,000 customer service professionals, has sold more than 16 million airline tickets and has registered more than 27 million members.


Ashley Wehrly (

Judy Haveson (



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Publication:PR Newswire
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jul 10, 2001
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