America’s Vacation Center and The Cruise Line Ltd. have been selected as Carnival Cruise Lines’ “travel agencies of the year” for 2007.

These two agencies were selected from among more than 30,000 cruise-selling travel agencies throughout the U.S. and Canada.  Travel agencies that demonstrate exceptional professionalism, enthusiasm and innovation in sales and marketing techniques are nominated based on feedback from Carnival’s business development managers who are based throughout North America and work in partnership with travel agents.

Carnival’s Senior Vice President of Sales and Guest Services Lynn C. Torrent noted the two award recipients have each achieved a high level of success by employing distinctly different business models. While each has developed a national network of home-based agents, America’s Vacation Center focuses on developing a worldwide network of home-based independently owned and operated affiliates, while The Cruise Line Ltd. takes a more traditional agency approach by encouraging local agents to concentrate on their local communities from virtual home-based offices.

“Regardless of their chosen business model, these two agencies share a common platform of providing superior customer service with extensive knowledge of the wide-ranging cruise styles and amenities available to consumers -- which is key to any successful travel agency,” Torrent said. “America’s Vacation Center and The Cruise Line Ltd. clearly demonstrate that there is more than one way to attract and retain clients in today’s competitive marketplace,” she added.

America’s Vacation Center has an intense focus on the overall customer experience and has re-invented itself over the past few years, particularly after Sept. 11, by offering travelers the service of specialized, home-based travel professionals who act as Personal Vacation Planners.

A family-owned business, America’s Vacation Center is one of the largest and fastest-growing travel companies in North America and beyond, and is deeply committed to personal, friendly service for travelers worldwide. Providing the best value, service, personal accountability, and more, America’s Vacation Center’s long-lasting relationship with American Express, elite network of experienced Personal Vacation Planners, patent-pending proprietary software, and unrivaled reputation have catapulted them to the forefront of the travel industry.

“We are incredibly honored and humbled to be named Carnival Cruise Lines' 'Agency of the Year' for 2007, and we are elated that our preferred suppliers like Carnival are thrilled with our unique travel agency model and approach to providing exceptional customer service," said Van Anderson, co-president of America’s Vacation Center.

The Cruise Line Ltd. (www.lowcruiseprices.com) was established in 2000 and, over the past eight years, has grown from a niche player into a true innovator in the cruise industry, particularly in the area of travel agent training and development.

The Cruise Line Ltd. is a full service travel agency specializing in private group trips and custom itineraries for individuals, through its passion for travel and attention to detail, makes booking cruise vacations affordable, easy and fun.

In addition to a staff based at its North Potomac, Md., headquarters, The Cruise Line Ltd. maintains virtual offices across the nation for its agents and has pioneered such initiatives as the “Cruise Moms,” (www.CruiseMoms.com) designed to provide stay-at-home parents with a “turnkey approach” for working from home on either a full- or part-time basis. With such programs, its in-depth training mini-courses and training manual, along with its  upcoming web-casts, it anticipates maintaining its position as a leader in the industry.

Mark Jacobs, CEO and President of The Cruise Line Ltd, said: “When the world’s largest cruise line names you as its ‘Agency of the Year,’ it speaks volumes to the hard work and dedication of our sales force and customer service department who truly deserve the award and the credit. Our agency receiving this recognition is truly gratifying since it is, after all, the clients who enable our business to be in this honored position today.”

The staffs of America’s Vacation Center and The Cruise Line, Ltd. and Carnival executives will travel via limousine to a restaurant of their choice. As a permanent reminder of their achievement, each agency will receive an exquisite cherry and maple grandfather clock to display in their offices.