US & Canada

Carnival Cruise offers teen free trip for Snapchat handle

Darian Lipscomb with a Carnival Cruise Line poster Image copyright Carnival Cruise Line
Image caption Darian Lipscomb and his family will fly to Barcelona for the cruise

Carnival Cruise Line has convinced a 15-year-old teenager in the US state of Virginia to trade his Snapchat handle for a free family cruise.

Darian Lipscomb of Prospect, Virginia, was surprised to find company representatives at his home requesting his @CarnivalCruise name.

"I answered the door, walked outside and saw my name on a big truck," the teenager told local media.

In exchange the company offered a free trip to Spain for his family.

He and his family will be flown to Barcelona on 31 March for the maiden voyage of the company's newest ship, the Carnival Horizon.

Image copyright Carnival Cruise Line
Image caption Carnival Cruise Line tracked Darian down with a poster campaign in his home town of Prospect

According the Richmond Times-Dispatch newspaper, the offer was worth over $5,000 (£3,500).

"When I was 9 years old, I went on a cruise and got really excited and wanted to share it with my friends," Darian told the newspaper.

He created the Snapchat handle @CarnivalCruise in 2012 and used it to share images of his trip while onboard the ship.

The company said Darian - who has already been on four Carnival cruises - and his family can expect more surprises and gifts throughout the journey.

"We thought this would be a fun way to claim our handle and reward a 'superfan' at the same time," said Robyn Fink, a spokeswoman for Carnival Cruise.

The company put up signs throughout the teenager's town featuring the Carnival Cruise's newly appointed chief fun officer, NBA star Shaquille O'Neal, with the caption: "Hey Prospect, does anyone know Darian?"

Darian says he has not yet chosen a new Snapchat handle, but joked he might claim another company name.

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