Unprecedented ‘World’s Largest Cruise Night’ to be Held October 19

Travel Agencies Across the Country Unite for One-Night Only; Consumers Enjoy Special Offers and Value-Added Incentives

NEW YORK, Sept. 22 /PRNewswire/ — Travelers who are thinking about taking their first — or next — cruise vacation will not want to miss the World’s Largest Cruise Night (WLCN) on October 19. WLCN will be the centerpiece of a month-long industry awareness campaign that will provide consumers with everything they ever wanted to know about cruise vacations and show why cruising is quickly becoming the vacation choice among travelers.

WLCN will be the highlight of National Cruise Vacation Month (NCVM), the cruise industry’s annual promotional campaign, which each year focuses consumer attention on the pleasures of cruise vacationing. NCVM is sponsored by the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA), the chief marketing organization for 19 North American cruise lines and 16,700 member travel agencies.

“CLIA-member travel agencies, in cooperation with CLIA’s member cruise lines, are joining together to host ‘cruise night’ events of all shapes and sizes in cities across North America,” said Terry L. Dale, CLIA’s president and CEO. “Consumers who attend WLCN events can obtain complete information on the widely diverse, passenger-pleasing vacation experiences available aboard today’s cruise ships. They will also have the chance to meet with the very best cruise and vacation planning resource — a CLIA-member travel agency.”

More than 200,000 consumers across North America are being invited to attend cruise nights, ranging from cocktail receptions to breakfast sessions to full-scale cruise expos — all in a single 24-hour period. At each of these events, consumers can learn about the diversity of cruise vacations available on the more than 150 ships of CLIA’s 19 member cruise lines and the more than 1,800 worldwide ports of call travelers can visit on a cruise.

In many cases, cruise line representatives will be on hand to provide detailed briefings on their cruise vacation products. And, at many events, cruise lines will provide special offers and value-added incentives for guests who book cruises at the events.

CLIA-member travel agencies are currently fine-tuning their WLCN events. Here is a sample of what prospective travelers might find:

* Mary Garitone, manager of leisure operations at Carlson Wagonlit Travel
in Tacoma, Wash., will host a cruise event at the Sheraton in Tacoma,
Wash., with 12 CLIA-member cruise lines represented. She expects to
draw 300 to 400 prospective cruisers to the event.

* Pat Fulton, co-owner of Departures Travel in Mesa, Ariz., is working
with Carnival Cruise Lines, Norwegian Cruise Line and Princess Cruises
and also with officials at homeport cities including San Diego, Los
Angeles and San Juan to co-sponsor her WLCN event. Fulton has booked
two rooms at a nearby convention center for the event, which will be
highlighted by presentations from individual cruise lines.

* Michael Regan, a sales consultant with Cruise Ship Centers in
Westminster, British Columbia, Canada, is planning an open house with
refreshments and door prizes. To encourage bookings, the agency will
offer incentives including wine, tote bags and cameras. Regan expects
150 to 200 potential clients to attend.

It’s easy for prospective cruisers to find out about WLCN events that will be held in their communities. Simply log on to CLIA’s Web site at http://www.cruising.org/ and click on the World’s Largest Cruise Night icon on the bottom. Once on the WLCN homepage, it is possible to search for participating travel agencies by state.

About CLIA:

The Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) is the cruise industry’s premier nonprofit marketing organization. CLIA’s 19 member cruise lines represent 97 percent of the cruise capacity marketed in North America. CLIA member travel agencies — of which there are 16,700 — are considered the consumer’s very best resource when planning a cruise vacation. For more information on CLIA, cruise vacations, its member cruise lines and travel agencies, visit http://www.cruising.org/ .

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