The move comes in response to the growing demand for cruise bookings in the U.S., which represents a significant portion of the global cruise industry, the digital travel company said in a Thursday (Nov. 9) press release.
Booking.com’s new offering is made possible through a partnership with cruise agency World Travel Holdings (WTH), according to the release. By introducing Cruises as a product vertical, Booking.com aims to provide U.S. customers with a wider range of travel options and enhanced benefits throughout the cruise trip planning journey.
“At Booking.com, we are committed to making it easier for everyone to experience the world, and with the United States being the largest market for cruises globally, it is important for us to meet and service this demand through our platform,” Ben Harrell, managing director for the U.S. at Booking.com, said in the release.
Through the new Cruises product vertical, Booking.com provides travelers with access to more than 10,000 sailings on 30 cruise lines from 55 departure ports across the globe, according to the release.
Cruises also offers always-on deals, including on-board credits that are based on the total amount spent and can be spent at sea, the release said.
The product vertical also allows customers to tap into Booking.com’s marketplace to arrange other elements of their trip, including transportation to a departure port, accommodations before or after the cruise, and in-trip experiences at port locations, per the release.
Customers can book their cruise online or via phone, and live chat is available to all visitors on the site, according to the press release.
“While the Caribbean, Europe and Alaska continue to be the top destination regions for sailings, travelers can tap into the vast inventory of cruises on Booking.com around the world and choose from more mainstream cruises on larger ships with varying itineraries, luxury cruises offering an upscale experience and river sailings on smaller ships for a more niche experience,” Booking.com said in the release.
Booking.com’s parent company, Booking Holdings, reported in August that it has been seeing robust leisure travel demand. During the second quarter, the company saw gross bookings that were 15% higher year over year and were its highest quarterly gross bookings ever.