Cruise Lines Post Record Booking Levels In 'Wave Week'

NEW YORK -- Several cruise lines reported record numbers of bookings during "wave week," traditionally known as the first two full weeks after New Year's Day and used as an indicator of how business will be for the year.

* Carnival Cruise Lines reported 82,529 individual bookings made Jan. 6 through 12 and 87,573 individual bookings Jan. 13 through 19, the strongest booking week in the company's 25-year history.

* Royal Caribbean International also recorded its best wave week, January 4 through 10, booking 102,430 individual passengers -- about one passenger every 2.5 seconds.

This year's mark exceeded the line's previous weekly record of 87,056 bookings, set last January.

* Holland America Line reported that on Jan. 6 it received a record number of reservations totalling nearly 10,000, mostly for seven- and 12-day sailings in the Caribbean, the Panama Canal, Alaska, Canada, New England, Europe and Hawaii.

* Princess Cruises saw a 20% increase in the number of phone calls for the first two full weeks after New Year's, compared with the same period last year.

*Celebrity Cruises president Richard Sasso said wave week bookings exceeded the line's 32% increase in capacity with the introduction of the Galaxy in December.

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