Carnival to launch virtual ship tours for UK trade

Complete Cruise Solution will unveil its first virtual ship visits for agents on its website next week.

The trade marketing arm of Carnival UK that oversees the P&O Cruises, Cunard, Princess Cruises and Ocean Village brands, has two videos ready to go live.

Filmed in an informal “youtube” style and designed to give agents as authentic an experience of a real ship visit as possible it is hoped virtual ship visits will eventually be available for all ships.

Giles Hawke, Carnival UK sales director, said: “Agents will be able to sit in the comfort of their offices and see what they would see on a real ship visit.

“The idea is that this isn’t a heavily polished marketing piece you would present to consumers but a Youtube-style presentation that gives agents a view of all the key areas of the ship.”

Initially videos for P&O Cruises’ family friendly 3,000-passenger super-liner Ventura and Princess Cruises’ Crown Princess will be available to agents who log on to

The videos have been organised in “chapters” allowing agents to tailor their viewing based on particular decks or cabin.

Meanwhile Hawke said the roll-out of e-ticketing was going well with over 70% of customers having accessed online documents for the first P&O cruises sailings this month on which e-tickets are available.

Hawke said this was a better than expected level more than three weeks before departure of the cruises and he expected that would rise further as the departures near.

“We were always very positive about this, we would not have done it if we had not expected it to work, and I’m very encouraged by the early signs.

“We would probably expect most people to access their tickets within two or three weeks of departure so to be on 70% already is fantastic.”

Accessing e-tickets online can be done either by customers or their agents, who can print off the documents and send them to the customer with other information of their own.

The introduction of e-tickets is the first phase of a move towards e-documentation for Carnival UK which will eventually allow customers to access all their documents online.

Eventually customers and agents will be offered an opt-in button on the website for e-documents and be able to access more information on things like shore excursions than is currently sent in hard copy format.

Hawke said the key to moving to e-documents is that they offer a better experience to the customer than the operator can at the moment with paper documents.

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