Ian Gilder, formerly of Jetline Cruises, said he expects to recoup his investment quickly for the domain which he will run alongside his main Adore Cruises brand.
The outlay, although considerable, remains dwarfed by the £560,000 said to have been paid for cruises.co.uk by the owners of cruise.co.uk in February 2008.
“I think there is an opportunity here,” Gilder said. “I believe this is a premium domain and one that’s not really been utilised for years.”
Gilder added he expects the site to quickly rise up the Google search rankings having already achieved position 15 for the search term ‘cheap cruises’.
He hopes to get to page one on Google within two months and generate 500 click throughs per month.
Although the cruise industry is considered to offer a premium product the UK market is heavily price-led and sales this year are said to be coming in later than ever as customers seek bargains.
Gilder said he expected much of the value from owning the domain to be derived from more long-tail search terms like ‘cheap Baltic cruises’ or ‘cheap Caribbean cruises’.
“We want to get the balance right between getting people to the site through the price message and making the site look nice.
“The product I will sell will generally be higher end. I don’t want to be selling £299 or £399 cruises – it’s more the higher end with added value. The long-term goal for me is to build up natural search.”
Gilder said having the second site operating ostensibly as a ‘web brand’ will give him the flexibility to try out new strategies while Adore Cruises remains as his more traditional ‘press brand’.
“My thoughts are to make cheapcruises the web brand and do no paid search. Inevitably people get to know about Adore through our press advertising,” he said.