Cruise travel retailer iCruise.com announced the launch of Cruise Finder Plus, a free-text cruise search box, on its website www.icruise.com. This innovative new feature uses award-winning, natural language search technology that allows consumers to find cruise vacations by typing or speaking their travel parameters.
Visitors to the iCruise.com home page see both a typical search with drop-down menus that are common on most travel sites and Cruise Finder Plus, which allows users to search in complete, naturally-spoken phrases with as much detail as they like. For example, a search for: "Mediterranean cruises from Istanbul in July on a sailing ship" or "Disney cruise to Alaska on August 18" will return real-time search results just like standard search methods. Google Chrome users can speak their phrases if they prefer.
"Web users can't always verbalize what they want online like they can with an actual travel agent," says Uf Tukel, Co-President of iCruise.com parent, WMPH Vacations. "Cruise Finder Plus lets them do that with immediate and accurate results."
iCruise.com partnered with Israel-based Evature, a leading provider of free-text search technology, to become the first in the cruise industry to provide this natural-language search on a website. Evature's EVA, B2B service, won the DEMO award for most game-changing travel innovation at the PhoCusWright 2011 Innovation Summit. Cruise Finder Plus uses EVA to parse key elements from a user's search phrase, then receives a response from the iCruise.com booking engine reflecting the consumer's cruise preferences.
"EVA provides consumers with a superior travel-search experience," says Barry Volinskey, Co-Founder of Evature, "We are very excited to cooperate with iCruise.com to offer an industry-first natural language cruise search."
Tukel says iCruise is dedicated to keeping an eye on emerging technologies. "Whether it's mobile apps or natural language search, we are constantly looking for new and convenient ways to help our clients find the right cruise vacation. Evature is a perfect example of an innovative company that has a great solution to a common problem."