Agents will be able to get access to 90% of the world’s cruises from 16 operators with the launch of a new online booking tool.
Amadeus’ eCruise sits alongside Amadeus’ existing desktop application Amadeus Cruise and will give agents access to multimedia content, destination information and real-time cabin availability.
It will also automatically re-route potential passengers who abandoned making an online booking to cruise agents.
Its launch is designed to capitalise on the continued growth of the sector which is predicted to rise by 5% in 2010.
William Gibbons, Passenger Shipping Association director, said: “The ability to give the consumer a real taste of the cruise experience before they book, through pictures, virtual cabin tours, ship itineraries and video clips can only help in matching the right cruise with the customer’s requirements.”
Amid a difficult year for the travel sector as a whole, cruise bucked the trend.
The PSA predicts that next year will be a record one for the sector, with more than 1.6m Brits predicted to take a cruise next year – up 6.5% on this year.
Amadeus’ director of marketing Elaine Seeto said: “When researching for eCruise it was clear that agents want to be able to capitalise on the growth within this market.
“We have designed a platform that caters for both expert and novice cruisers. Expert cruisers can search and complete bookings online with little assistance from the agent.
“Meanwhile, novice cruisers can search and compare different options and when they need help, the agent can then take over, offering further guidance to complete the booking.”
eCruise allows agents a single screen cruise comparison, deck plans, cabin descriptions, information on more than1300 ports and more than 100 itinerary maps.
It enables comparison of up to five cruise lines in the search results on one page including pricing, ship and itinerary information.