Galileo International, Inc., a leading provider of electronic global distribution services (GDS) for the travel industry, today launched Galileo e-Cruise, the award-winning, powerful B-2-B Internet cruise shopping and booking tool.
With Galileo e-Cruise, travel agents can compete more effectively in one of the fastest growing leisure travel markets.  The Internet tool provides many value-added benefits that are designed to help agents increase sales and promote specials and packages associated with a particular cruise line or cruise event, along with saving them time and training costs.
The Galileo e-Cruise booking engine, built on the LeisureShopper® platform using Galileo’s advanced XML Select application, was recently recognized for its use of leading-edge technology by Gomez, the leading Internet quality measurement firm.  In real-time, Galileo e-Cruise places more than 85 percent of the world’s cruise inventory (nine top cruise lines) at travel agents’ fingertips - more than any other GDS cruise booking product available today.
With its point-and-click navigation and access to deck plans, stateroom photos and destination information, Galileo e-Cruise is a complete resource for agents.  Today, US travel agents can access the Galileo e-Cruise booking site via the Internet.  In the first quarter of 2001, they will be able to access it through the e-Agent feature on the Viewpoint? 2.5 edition, as well as through their browsers. Galileo e-Cruise is available at no extra cost to all travel agencies currently using LeisureShopper Cruises. Worldwide deployment of Galileo e-Cruise will occur throughout 2001.
“Galileo e-Cruise allows agents to compare, shop and book inventory based on the client’s needs from a single Internet site,” said Joan Dienst, vice president, Sales and Marketing - Car/Hotel/Leisure and Advertising. “Agents can book directly on the site after comparing availability for up to five cruise lines at once, as well as comparing cruise package prices with and without air transportation or insurance.”
Other key features include: the ability to apply payment by credit card at the time of the initial cruise booking and the ability to generate an individual PNR (Passenger Name Record) in Galileo’s computer reservation systems for each booking, allowing the agent to add air, car and hotel segments through Viewpoint.  Future enhancements will include the ability to modify and cancel itineraries as well as sending an e-mail confirmation and summary to clients.