Travel search engine Kayak.com has launched a metasearch product for cruises. According to the company, unlike other travel sites, Kayak.com will search multiple cruise sites for prices and itineraries and is the only site that offers consumers a choice of where to book. (1/12/2007)
Through a partnership with World Travel Holdings (WTH), Kayak.com will search several leading cruise brands including CruisesOnly, Cruise411, Cruises.com and Vacation Outlet. Kayak.com will add additional sites including supplier direct in the coming months.
“Metasearch has changed the way people search for air, hotel and rental cars and we are delighted to apply our award-winning search functionality to the cruising sector,” said Steve Hafner, co-founder and chief executive officer, Kayak.com.
“Finding the perfect cruise can be a tedious process since so many factors affect the itinerary and price. Only Kayak.com simplifies the search experience by returning hundreds of options and providing the sorting and filtering tools that enable users to edit search parameters and see results refresh instantly,” said Hafner.
From the cruise homepage, consumers can pre-select preferences to receive more qualified results. Options include: destination, cruise line, departure date: by month, length of cruise, state of residence: for applicable discounts, and checkbox for 55 and older: for applicable discounts.
On the cruise results page, users can sort results and filter preferences for easier comparison. Kayak.com is the only site that allows users to select more than one option, providing a more comprehensive results set.
Tools include: Sort Results (instantly sort results by clicking on column headers for price, rating, cruise line and sail date); Filters on the left help users narrow in on the perfect cruise. Also, the company says only Kayak.com allows users to “Pin” and save preferred flight, hotel, rental car and now cruise results. By “pinning” a specific result, users can keep that selection atop the search results as they evaluate additional options. For registered users, these pinned results will remain at the top during all future searches.
For additional information about an itinerary, the details link opens a box providing ports of call, photos and a list of booking options with prices per stateroom type. Consumers choose where to book and are sent directly to the site to make a purchase. Kayak.com is the only site that also provides the agency´s phone number for consumers unwilling to buy over the Internet, stated the company.
Earlier this month, another travel search engine SideStep had shared plans of introducing its Cruise vertical. It was stated that the new offering will enable SideStep users to research and book all major cruise destinations – including the Caribbean, Mediterranean, Alaska, The Bahamas and Europe – and will include useful information such as ship details, ship reviews and star ratings, and photos and tours, as well as detailed information regarding staterooms, public areas and deck plans. Users will be able to search by various parameters, such as destination, cruise line, and length of cruise.