Looking for a Great Return on Investment? Try Carnival Corporation!

Carnival Corporation LogoInvestors who love to cruise should consider owning 100 shares of Carnival Corporation (CCL) stock. Shareholder benefits include an onboard credit (OBC) of up to $250 when sailing on any of the cruise lines owned by CCL including Carnival Cruise Lines, Princess Cruises, Holland America, Seabourn, Cunard, and Costa Cruises.

The $250 OBC applies to cruises 14 days or longer; 7-13 day cruises provide a $100 OBC and cruises less than 7 days are rewarded with a $50 OBC. Not bad considering that each time you cruise the OBC adds to your return on the investment.   

At its current price of¬†$30.47 per share just one 7-day cruise per year would provide a 3.28% return with ownership of 100 shares. Add to that CCL’s current $.25 dividend per quarter and you have a 6.56% return. One additional 7-day cruise and the return is just under 10%. The more you cruise, the more fun you have, and the better return on your investment. What’s not to like?

Royal Caribbean has a similar stockholder benefit as well. Check out ownership of cruise line stocks and start booking those cruises to take advantage of this terrific stockholder benefit. Of course all stockholder benefits are subject to renewal at annual meetings.

For more information about Carnival Corporation check out its Brand Essence Video. To book a cruise and have a travel professional assist with securing your shareholder benefits, please contact AREA Vacations at 770-591-5552 or by email at travel@area-vacations.com.

Princess Offers Military Benefits on All Sailings

Honoring All VeteransWhile most cruise lines offer current and former military personnel discounts on some sailings, Princess Cruise Line offers veterans onboard credits on every sailing. The aggressive benefits program, started over a year ago, is designed to attract current and former armed forces members to Princess. Veterans receive onboard credits of $50 for cruises 6 days or less; $100 for cruises 7-13 days; and $250 for cruises 14 days or longer.

Princess recognizes the service of active military, retired military, and many others who were honorably discharged. Veterans need only provide proper documentation to their travel agent who will then make the request on behalf of the veteran.

The program applies to members of the United States Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, National Guard or Reserves, Canadian National Defense – as well as the British Army, Royal Marines, Royal Navy, Royal Air Force or Reserves.

For more information or to book a cruise and take advantage of this special military benefits program from Princess Cruises, call AREA Vacations at 770-591-5552 or send an email to travel@area-vacations.com.

NASA Predicts Record Northern Lights Activity in Winter 2012

Northern Lights on Hurtigruten Cruise
Strongest activity in 50 years according to NASA

Waiting to see the Northern Lights? Well, winter of 2012 may be the best chance of lifetime to see this amazing natural phenomenon. NASA predicts that this winter will see the strongest Northern Lights activity in 50 years and what better place to see them than from a Hurtigruten ship where they are set against the dark night sky, away from artificial light.

The Northern Lights have increased in intensity since 2007, and will be at their peak in 2012. The Solar Maximum, the period with the greatest solar activity, peaks around every 11 to 12 years. According to NASA, 2012 is the year that we will once again witness the Solar Maximum, and it will be stronger than at any time in the last 50 years.

The Northern Lights are at their most active in the late autumn and they occur most frequently and at their brightest in a belt of some 2,500 kilometers from the magnetic pole. Much of the Norwegian coast lies in an area with the greatest Northern Lights activity, especially the high Arctic above the Arctic Circle.

For more information or to book your Hurtigruten Cruise to see the Northern Lights, please contact AREA Vacations at 770-591-5552 or travel@area-vacactions.com.

Getting the Most Out of Your Carnival MasterCard

Carnival "FunPoints" MasterCardOne of the best “rewards” credit cards for cruise enthusiasts is the Carnival MasterCard. The card is available through Barclays Bank. The Carnival card tracks your purchases in FunPoints – one FunPoint for each dollar charged. The World and Platinum versions of the card double the points for eligible purchases made directly from¬†Carnival Cruise Lines. Charge a $2,000 Carnival cruise and the card holder is rewarded with¬†4,000 FunPoints!

FunPoint redemption for small amounts is at the rate of approximately $50 for every 5,000 FunPoints redeemed or a 1% payback. FunPoints can be used like cash to offset air travel purchases or purchases from Carnival Cruise Lines, Princess Cruises, and Holland America. 

What is important for Carnival MasterCard holders to know is that the rate at which FunPoints can be redeemed increases dramatically when redeeming 100,000 FunPoints or more for cruise purchases of $1,500 or more. Once that level is exceeded, the redemption rate will be $75 per 5,000 FunPoints or a 1.5% payback. If the FunPoints were accumulated by making cruise purchases at the rate of 2 FunPoints per dollar spent, the payback is actually a whopping 3%.

To get the best payback it is necessary to accumulate¬†at least 100,000 FunPoints. Then purchase a cruise that is at least $1,500.¬†For whatever reason, the payback calculator used in the program requires 149,900 FunPoints to pay in full a cruise purchase of $1,499. However, if you purchase a cruise that costs just $1 more – $1,500 –¬†the FunPoints necessary to pay it off in full¬†is just 100,000. That is 49,900 FunPoints LESS!

If you want help getting the most out of your FunPoints contact AREA Vacations to book your next Carnival Cruise.