Royal Caribbean puts Allure on Google Street View

By Tom Stieghorst
Royal Caribbean International has created an online tour of its 5,400-passenger Allure of the Seas that can be accessed through Google Street View technology.

Google Street View, introduced in 2007, takes 360-degree panoramic pictures of locations around the world, which are then posted online via Google Maps.

The Allure tour is organized through Google Maps Business View, and Royal Caribbean said it is the first cruise line to take advantage of the technology to offer online tours.

Photographers took 20,000 images over the course of eight days to assemble a visual representation of the ship. There is no audio information with the tour.

Royal Caribbean said the photos were shot with a basic DSLR camera using a fisheye lens and a panoramic head resting on a tripod. This method takes 12 photographs at each point.

"Consumers go online to research their vacations and this is the closest they can get to actually being onboard,” said Jo Briody, Royal Caribbean's director of marketing and public relations. "We are confident that once people get virtually immersed in Allure of the Seas’ various decks and features thanks to Google Street View technology, they’ll be eager to experience the real thing.”

Royal Caribbean already has its own virtual tours of most ships posted on its website.
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