RealTime IT News

Carnival Cruise Lines Launches Site for Travel Agents

Miami, FL-based Carnival Cruise Lines, the largest operating unit of Carnival Corp., launched BookCCL.com, a live Internet booking engine for travel agents.

The site can be accessed directly at BookCCL.com or through a link on Carnival's Web site.

"The Internet offers ease of access, convenience and 24-hour-a-day availability to travel agents, many of whom do not necessarily subscribe to the major electronic cruise booking services, or may be working from home or at hours when Carnival's phone lines aren't available," said Bob Dickinson, president of Carnival Cruise Lines.

He pointed out that a recent study by the Travel Industry Association of America in Washington, D.C., showed that an estimated 33.8 million adults used the Internet in 1998 for travel planning, which represents a 1,000 percent increase within the past two years alone.

Each travel agency will be required to designate one individual who will contact Carnival for that agency's user I.D. and password. Once having accessed the agent-exclusive area, Carnival's Internet booking engine guides users through each step of the reservations process.

All 14 ships in the fleet, including the 102,000-ton Carnival Triumph, which is scheduled to enter service in July, are available for booking via BookCCL.com.

The company said it is also developing a similar live Internet reservations vehicle for consumers, which is expected to be launched later this winter. Holland America Line, another operating unit of Carnival Corp., is expected to launch its own booking engine for travel agents later this year.