A cruise line has successfully tracked down a 15-year-old boy to offer him a free trip in exchange for his Snapchat handle.

Florida-based Carnival Cruise went to the small Virginia town of Prospect this week to find Darian Lipscomb, who is a big fan of the company, and ask him to hand over the handle @CarnivalCruise.

The holiday company put up signs around the town featuring its newly appointed chief fun officer, retired NBA star Shaquille O'Neal, which read: "Hey Prospect, does anyone know Darian?"

When Carnival Cruise finally tracked him down, they asked if he would be willing to give up his handle in exchange for a cruise for him and his family on their newest ship, the Carnival Horizon.

"I answered the door, walked outside and saw my name on a big truck. I was really surprised," he told Richmond Times-Dispatch.

He accepted the offer and will head to Barcelona on Saturday for the maiden voyage of the ship.

Image:The company put up signs around the teen's hometown. Pic: Carnival Cruise

Darian explained the reason behind his usual Snapchat handle.

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

He made the account in 2012 and has used it to share snaps of his cruise experiences including tubing and zip-lining, he said.

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Darian will receive customised surprises throughout the cruise, which will be documented on the company's social media accounts.

The company said the swap was a fun way to claim the handle and reward a "superfan", the newspaper report said.

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