Expedia CruiseShipCenters brand unveiled

Expedia and CruiseShipCenters International have unveiled their new
combined brand Expedia(R) CruiseShipCenters(R).

  The announcement included plans for expansion into the United States,
with the first co-branded Expedia CruiseShipCenters store opening at the
Crossroads Shopping Center in Bellevue, Wash. Additional franchise
opportunities will be available in Washington and Oregon, initially, in the
first quarter of 2008. Home-based agents in the U.S. who sign up as
independent contractors can begin selling Expedia CruiseShipCenters
offerings in January.

  “Since Expedia first invested in CruiseShipCenters in March 2007, we
have recognized the benefit of leveraging the two brands to benefit our
home based agents, our Franchise Partners and our consumers,” said Michael
Drever, president and CEO of CruiseShipCenters. “With the combined power of
the Expedia and CruiseShipCenters brands and backed with our propriety
CruiseDesk technology, our agents are better equipped to grow their

  This alliance enables home-based agents to leverage the expertise and
leadership of the Expedia brand and further serve travelers by accessing
the breadth of Expedia non-cruise offerings. The new Expedia
CruiseShipCenters logo and supporting materials will be available to new
and existing franchisees and home-based agents in the first quarter of
2008. All of the more than 100 retail locations and more than 1,500 cruise
sales consultants throughout North America are expected to integrate the
new co-brand.

  “As the world’s leading online travel company, Expedia is pleased to
combine the power of our brand with the proven technology and leading
service offerings of CruiseShipCenters to create an alliance that
franchisees and home-based agents can leverage, and that travelers can
trust,” said Paul Brown, president of Expedia North America and Expedia
Partner Services Group.


  Expedia announced a strategic investment in CruiseShipCenters in March
2007 in a move to broaden its exposure to offline distribution channels.
CruiseShipCenters has built a solid reputation as a market leader in North
America’s cruise vacation industry, booking more than 20 percent of all
cruises sold in Canada. Twice receiving the Canadian Franchise
Association’s Award of Excellence, the company delivers outstanding
customer service and value through its proprietary, industry-leading
CruiseDesk(R) platform. A one-of-a-kind application, the CruiseDesk system
is a fully integrated Enterprise Customer Relationship Management system
incorporating booking, back-office, marketing and other business management
tools at the agent level.