First, the good news, which is particularly positive for Carnival Corp stockholders. Without releasing specific figures, Carnival Cruise Lines has reported record wave season bookings so far this year, with strong reservations activity for 2010 departures. Wave season typically runs from about mid-January through early spring and is traditionally the busiest, most important booking period in the cruise industry. For the period of Jan. 1 through Feb. 21, 2010, bookings were at unprecedented levels for the line’s 22 ships which operate 3- to 15-day voyages from a variety of convenient North American home ports.
Now for the bad news for consumers. As a result of the strong booking volumes, Carnival will implement a general price increase of up to 5 percent (varying by departure date) effective March 22nd for all summer sailings in June, July, and August.
In making the announcement, Carnival President and CEO Gerry Cahill said, “We’re seeing significantly increased volume as consumers are taking advantage of the incredible value that a Carnival cruise provides. And while pricing hasn’t fully recovered to 2008 levels, we are increasing prices and will implement an across-the-board increase effective March 22.” Cahill attributed the record booking activity to a wide range of factors, including strong travel agent partner support, targeted marketing initiatives, itinerary enhancements, and the wide variety of close-to-home departure points.
For additional information on the Carnival vacation experience and to book your cruise before the fare increases take place, visit Carnival.com or call 1-800-327-9501.