one year of beta testing, Cruisebound, a new online travel agency for cruise
travel, is launching today with $10 million in Series A funding.
funding is led by former Booking Holdings chairman and Priceline CEO Jeff Boyd and PAR
Capital Ventures, with participation from Tripadvisor founder and former CEO
Steve Kaufer, Concur founder and Madrona Venture Group managing partner Steve
Singh, Link Ventures founder Dave Blundin, Plug & Play Ventures and
several others. Boyd is joining the Cruisebound board.
led by co-founder and CEO Pierre-Olivier Lepage, says it offers the customer
service of an offline agency with the price comparison and instant booking of
an online travel agency. The site is targeting first time cruisers with a
mobile-first approach that is intended to appeal to millennial and Gen Z travelers.
Cruisebound says during its year of beta testing, 91%
of bookings were made on a mobile device.
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Users can compare prices, itineraries,
ships and cabin types from major cruise lines including Carnival, Royal
Caribbean, Norwegian Cruise Line, Princess Cruises and MSC. Every booking includes live,
post-booking customer service through phone, text and email.
booking my first cruise, I was surprised at how difficult it was to research
and book online - and nearly impossible on a mobile device. My go-to travel
sites for booking flights and hotels are not designed to sell a complicated
cruise product. This is clearly a leading factor in the divide between cruisers
and non-cruisers,” Lepage says.
designed Cruisebound to sell cruises and only cruises. We offer an easy-to-use
site that is optimized for mobile, which is where younger travelers prefer to
research and book vacations. Then we combine the instant booking of an online
travel agency with the live customer service of an offline agent.”
has now raised a total of $12.7 million. Lepage says the company will use the
latest funding to improve the customer experience through product innovation and
for marketing to reach first-time cruisers.
companies have improved the travel planning and booking process for consumers
in flights, hotels, vacation homes and tours and there is an opportunity for
our experienced and innovative team to build scale with a single-minded focus
on building the best consumer experience in cruises,” Boyd says.
founders of Cruisebound have a proven track record of solving customer pain points
by leveraging data science and experimentation to build great products. I am
confident that Cruisebound will drive new customers to an industry recovering
from the pandemic and launching record levels of new ships.”
founding team also includes Rocket Travel co-founders Jay Hoffman and Bjorn
Larsen. Advisors include Agoda co-founder Bryan Lewis, Priceline Partner Network
co-founder Andrew Loewen and Atle Skalleberg, former COO of Flight Centre