IN OTHER NEWS:
Kayak tries direct flight booking 6
DOT wants fares rounded up in ads 6
Hilton ends contract with Orbitz 7
Part 1 of 2
THE NATIONAL NEWSPAPER OF THE TRAVEL INDUSTRY
MARCH 12, 2012
By Donna Tunney CRISIS AS ICELAND: OPPORTUNITY redo Destiny, stern to name BY KENNETH KIESNOSKI PAGE 20The Eyjafjallajokull volcano erupted in May 2010.
PHO TO BY JOHANN HELGASON / SHU T TERS TOCK. COM
[ TO BE RECHRISTENED ‘SUNSHINE’ ]
An unexpected fate awaits the Carnival Destiny. Early next year, it
will undergo a $155 million, top-to-bottom revitalization, Carnival
Cruise Line’s most ambitious conversion ever, so dramatically altering the vessel that even its name
will have to change.
Following a brutal economic collapse in 2008 and a
travel-killing volcanic eruption two years later, tourism is
not only recovering but positioned for record growth.
During a 49-day drydock beginning in
February at a Fincantieri shipyard in Italy,
two existing partial decks, Decks 11 and 12
forward, will be expanded, and a new partial
deck, Deck 14 forward, will be added.
These spaces will enable the addition of
182 cabins, more than a dozen Fun Ship
2.0 dining and lounge areas, the adults-only Serenity retreat, the Cloud 9 Spa, the
SportSquare outdoor recreation complex
See CARNIVAL on Page 52
In rise and fall of Europe’s fortunes, land more resilient than cruise
Travel sellers, though anxious, see Continent in a rebound
Worries about economy, politics soften blue-water demand
By Michelle Baran
Between rising airfares, the London 2012
Olympics, riots in Greece and economic uncertainty on both sides of the Atlantic, one
would expect travel to Europe to be challenged on the eve of the busy summer season, and yet land-based bookings to European destinations have remained remarkably
“We’re seeing that Europe this year is actually rebounding really well,” said Albert Herrera, vice president for hotels, destinations
and tours at Virtuoso.
Indeed, Virtuoso member Peter Herff, vice
president of San Antonio, Tex.-based Herff
Travel, said that despite all the perceived set-
backs across the Continent, “the romance
and the mystique of Europe still outweigh
just about everything else.”
Europe bookings, which make up about
75% of Herff’s business, have stayed “fairly
Rudi Steele, president of Dallas-based
Rudi Steele Travel, is seeing even stronger
numbers to Europe, saying that a “
conservative” estimate is that his agency is seeing 30%
See TOURISM on Page 51
By Donna Tunney
With the exception of river cruises, demand
for summer 2012 sailings has softened in
some European regions, with agents around
the U.S. citing higher airfares and political
and economic tensions as the reasons.
The Western Mediterranean is faring better than the Eastern Med. That is due primarily to travelers’ anxieties about Greece
and its government’s measures to deal with
financial instability by means of tough austerity measures, which have led to intermittent street riots in recent months.
“People are asking: ‘Are we going to get
in the middle of a riot in Athens?’” re-
ported Doug Crosby of Holiday Cruises
and Tours in Henderson, Nev. “People are
funny when it comes to political unrest.
They’re not too comfortable. We have cli-
ents cruising there in October, and they’re
asking us now about the riots.”
Even worse than the Med, according to
Crosby, is demand for Holy Land cruises,
which have tanked.
Mimi Comfort, who owns Cruise Holidays
of Kansas City, agreed, noting, “Anything in-
See CRUISE on Page 50