Despite the challenging economy, Carnival Cruise Lines is reporting strong booking volumes as prospective vacationers take advantage of some of the best vacation values in years.
For the one-week period ended March 1, Carnival recorded the highest number of net weekly bookings in its history. Additionally, on a cumulative basis since mid-January, net bookings are up 10 percent compared to the same period in 2008, although pricing is at lower levels. Wave season typically runs from about mid-January through early spring and is traditionally the busiest, most important booking period in the cruise industry. Last week’s record reservations activity encompassed all of the line’s 22-vessel fleet, which depart from a variety of homeports throughout the U.S.
“This record booking activity, while at lower pricing, is certainly encouraging,” said Gerry Cahill, Carnival’s president and CEO. “It tells us that despite the uncertain economic climate, consumers clearly need more fun in their lives and view their vacations as a valuable and necessary part of that.”
Carnival is the largest cruise line in the world, with 22 “Fun Ships” operating voyages ranging from three to 18 days in length to The Bahamas, Caribbean, Mexican Riviera, Alaska, Hawaii, Panama Canal, Canada, New England, Europe, and Bermuda. The line currently has two new ships scheduled for delivery between now and 2011. The first of those, the 130,000-ton Carnival Dream, is set to debut Sept. 21.