Carnival Offers Virtual Reality Cruises

Every day, people who’ve never been on a cruise are likely to see an advertisement designed to convince them that they should make the leap and hit the high seas. “I think the biggest barrier to first-time cruisers is their unfamiliarity with the experience,” Mike Julius, managing director of sales for Carnival Cruise Line told us during a recent chat. “Only 20 percent of North Americans have been on a cruise. And we know that once they’ve experienced it, they come back. Cruising has the highest satisfaction rate.”

And now, thanks to a partnership with AT&T, those who haven’t yet been persuaded to board a ship can actually give cruising a try… without ever leaving land. Fortune magazine reports that in 133 AT&T stores across 37 states, customers can don a Samsung virtual reality headset and get a taste of life on the high seas.

“The only real way to experience a cruise is to actually step on board a ship,” Ken Jones, vice president of corporate marketing for Carnival told the magazine, explaining that they were using the technology to “transport people to a virtual cruise environment where they can get a taste of the full experience – from the open sea, to the entertaining and dining, to the amazing shore excursion options around the world – which will encourage more people to consider cruises when planning their next vacation.”

As Julius said of the line’s ongoing efforts to bring new customers into the fold, “we have to continue to innovate if we want to get people to give cruising a try.” Want to know where you can head to take a virtual reality tour? A full list of the AT&T stores offering the experience can be found here.

Featured photo: Flickr/Madonovan

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