Travel Agents Excited About Cruise Ship - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Travel Agents Excited About Cruise Ship

Coast travel agents are excited about the possibility of attracting a cruise ship. They've seen the continuing growth of this multi-billion dollar industry.

Travel agent Heidi Clark says a growing number of travelers have discovered cruise ships offer the perfect getaway package. And although the Carribean remains a favorite destination, cruising now covers the world.

"They're going Scandanavian cruising. People are going around Australia and New Zealand cruising. And Alaska," Clark said.

The growing number of cruise line companies also increases affordability.

"Like anything, with competition, the more there is they're really trying to give you the best deals."

Otecia Ladner is convinced that a Gulfport based cruise ship would be no problem to book. She points to the immediate success Carnival Cruise Lines experienced when it set sail from nearby Mobile.

"An example of how it's grown is out of Mobile. Carnival brought in and was going to have just two or three sailings. And it just grew so big they had to add some sailings. Plus they overbooked. It was just unbelievable how successful it was," Ladner said.

Cruise travel was successful enough to lure the name synonymous with family vacations.

"Disney now has two cruise ships just of their own," Ladner said.

An industry association reports cruise ship companies will introduce 16 new ships this year alone. Projections call for similar growth in the next few years.

"I think it's looking great. I really do. And I think it'd be even greater if we got some ships out of Gulfport," Ladner said.

By Steve Phillips

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