Tourism & Cruises

To boost sales, Carnival unveils virtual reality cruise trips in South Florida

Carnival Corporation CEO Arnold Donald wearing the virtual reality headset by Samsung Gear VR, powered by Oculus.
Carnival Corporation CEO Arnold Donald wearing the virtual reality headset by Samsung Gear VR, powered by Oculus. NYSE | Valerie Caviness

Travelers curious about what it’s like to vacation on the high seas can take a look for themselves without leaving dry land.

Carnival Corporation has launched a first-of-its-kind promotion. Through a partnership with Samsung’s virtual reality headset — the Samsung Gear VR, powered by Oculus — would-be cruisers can check out cruising on Carnival’s 10 brands at select AT&T stores nationwide, including three in South Florida, through March 11.

The 360-degree experience, developed by Carnival Corp., features views aboard a selection of its ships, including staterooms, decks and entertainment options, as well as popular ports of call, including Barcelona and Mexico.

While the number of cruisers continues to swell, cruise lines have been looking to woo first-time cruisers. About 13 million North Americans took a cruise vacation in 2015, according to Cruise Market Watch, an industry publication.

Consumers can test out the headset — compatible with Samsung Galaxy S6, S6 edge, S6 edge+ and Note5 — at AT&T stores located at 8888 SW 136th St. in Miami and 663 W. 49th St. in Hialeah. In Palm Beach County, the headset is also available to try at the AT&T at 6286 W. Indiantown Road in Jupiter.

Cruise lines are in their crucial “Wave” season — the first three months of the year — when they typically book 40 percent of the year’s reservations.

“With most of the U.S. dealing with winter weather, the timing for this launch is designed to give people a fully immersive look at why cruising is a great vacation — and helps remind them to think about going on a cruise when planning their next vacation,” said Carnival Corp. CEO Arnold Donald.

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