MIAMI (May 12, 2008) â€“ Reaffirming the ease, convenience and sophistication of its comprehensive Web-based shore excursion reservations system, Carnival Cruise Lines is experiencing a 16 percent year-over-year increase in on-line shore excursion sales and expects that a record one million shore excursion tickets will be purchased via carnival.com in 2008.
And with the debut of the Carnival Splendor from Europe in July, Carnival will offer an unprecedented 1,982 shore excursion choices in 114 ports visited by its 22-vessel fleet.
According to Carnivalâ€™s Vice President of Tour Operations Mico Cascais, on-line shore excursion sales have increased for all â€œFun Shipâ€ sailing regions, primarily in conjunction with Caribbean cruises, where Carnival is the industry leader, with 18 of its 22 ships deployed within the region on a year-round or seasonal basis. Europe is popular as well, particularly with tours that visit historic attractions and museums. Other growth areas include the Mexican Rivera, Alaska, and Hawaii.
â€œBooking shore excursions on-line prior to sailing is not only incredibly convenient, it also offers guests a better chance of securing their tour of choice while providing peace of mind knowing their shore excursions are already reserved and paid for,â€ Cascais noted.
Cascais indicated a trend toward more immersive landside experiences that allow guests to get an in-depth look at the destinations they are visiting. â€œConsumers are looking for unique shore excursion choices that allow them to get an â€˜up close and personalâ€™ look at fascinating cultures and attractions and participate in activities they normally canâ€™t do at home, all with the goal of creating a lifetime of wonderful vacation memories,â€ said Cascais.
He added that with Carnivalâ€™s variety of organized shoreside options, guests not only can explore exciting destinations but also maximize their time in port and be assured that their excursion has been personally researched and evaluated by the lineâ€™s highly trained professionals.
Carnivalâ€™s shore excursions can be purchased on-line from 120 days up to three days prior to departure date. Guests can also purchase shore excursions via the shore excursion office located adjacent to the purserâ€™s information desk on board, as well as via interactive television systems on some ships.
Carnival is the largest and most popular cruise line in the world, with 22 â€œFun Ships” operating voyages ranging from three to 18 days in length to the Bahamas, Caribbean, Mexico, Alaska, Hawaii, New England, Canada, Bermuda, Europe, and South America. The line has three new ships scheduled for delivery between now and 2011. The first of these, the 113,300-ton Carnival Splendor, is slated to debut in Europe July 2, 2008.
For additional information and reservations on Carnivalâ€™s â€œFun Shipâ€ cruises, contact any travel agent, call 1-800-CARNIVAL or visit carnival.com.