CHICAGO and WOBURN (TVLW) – Orbitz Worldwide today announced it has reached an agreement with World Travel Holdings (WTH) to manage cruise fulfillment for the Orbitz (http://www.orbitz.com/) and CheapTickets (http://www.cheaptickets.com/) brands.
“This agreement represents an advanced capability for our customers as more travelers are getting comfortable booking their cruise experience online,” said Sam Fulton, Vice President and General Manager, Transportation, Orbitz Worldwide, Inc. “In addition to an improved online experience, we will also enable Orbitz and CheapTickets customers to book cruise vacations through highly trained, experienced and dedicated telesales staff.”
In total — between branded cruise websites and online travel agencies — PhoCusWright projects double-digit gross bookings growth for customers making their cruise reservations online through 2009.
The World Travel Holdings agreement provides Orbitz Worldwide with a large selection of cruise ship inventory where customers can choose from over 155 ships on 18 different cruise lines.
In addition to inventory, the agreement provides Orbitz and CheapTickets customers access to special discounted rates and value added services. The improved functionality includes:
— 24/7 Telesales and Support: Cruise customers will have access to 24/7
expert help and advice from dedicated telesales and support staff.
— Group Cruise Experts: Customers can now take advantage of special group
cruise offerings for compelling deals for bookings of 8 cabins or more.
— Alumni Rates: Orbitz and CheapTickets will now provide special cruise
line rates and discounts to returning bookers of cruise vacations.
— Improved Ship Information: Orbitz and CheapTickets will provide robust
content onsite for all cruise lines and ships, including itineraries,
deck plans, information on dining & public rooms, stateroom layouts
with rich imagery and 360 degree views of cabins and common areas.
— Reviews & Ratings: Access to over 2,000 peer customer and professional
reviews for most ships and itineraries offered.
— Accessibility Information: Orbitz and CheapTickets cruise destinations
will have helpful information about accessibility — specifically for
wheelchair-bound customers (e.g., door widths, bathroom features, etc)
and hearing impaired persons (e.g., listening device kits, telephone
— Seniors and New Child Pricing: Cruise shoppers will be able to view
cruise pricing based on passenger age for those cruise lines which
offer discounts for cruisers under 18 and over 55.
“World Travel Holdings will provide Orbitz Worldwide customers all the tools and content they need to plan the perfect voyage,” said John Walsh, SVP, Marketing & Product, World Travel Holdings, Inc. “Be it a Caribbean getaway from the cold this winter or an Alaskan cruise this summer, this partnership will provide Orbitz Worldwide customers with all their travel needs when they take to the open seas.”