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March 24, 2003 – Cruise Bookings

While it may not be representative of the cruise line industry as a whole, Carnival Corp., the world’s largest cruise operator, said that its fiscal second-quarter bookings and some of its even more vital third-quarter (June through August) bookings are suffering due to the war with Iraq and the threat of terrorism. The industry giant reported that occupancy levels for its second-quarter cruises are currently at 86 percent, down from 92 percent a year earlier. As a result, Carnival says they have had to resort to price discounting, falling in line with other cruise lines’ efforts, indicating that these effects are being experienced across the cruise line industry. Although bookings are expected to rebound rapidly if the war in Iraq is brief, Carnival executives admit that prices may remain low for an extended period of time.

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