Costa Cruises and Europe’s largest low fares airline Ryanair have announced a commercial alliance.
Under the terms of the agreement, the Italian operator will be Ryanair’s exclusive partner cruise line for the next three years, until 2012.
The aim of the partnership is to create business synergies in Europe, where both companies enjoy positions of leadership, especially in the UK, Italy, France, Spain, Germany and emerging countries, including those in Scandinavia.
Thanks to the newly announced agreement, people accessing Ryanair’s online website will be able to book cruises with Costa directly through the site: a vast range of 250 separate destinations – with departures from almost 50 ports located worldwide.
In 2008 Costa Cruises carried approximately 1.2 million guests on board its ships and this figure is expected to reach 1.5 million by 2010. In the 2008/2009 fiscal year Ryanair will carry 58.5 million passengers and the airline expects this figure to hit the 100 million mark by 2012.
There are 50 Ryanair routes departing from the UK and other European locations connecting destinations close to the ports of departure for Costa Cruises in the Mediterranean and Northern Europe: Venice, Savona, Civitavecchia, Palermo, Barcelona, Marseilles, Kiel.
Costa Cruises will be the only cruise line on Ryanair’s website, thus boosting its web visibility.
For Ryanair this partnership constitutes an extension and an enhancement of its range of services offered to customers, and will allow Ryanair passengers to connect with Costa cruise ships departing from Venice, Savona, Civitavecchia, Palermo, Barcelona, Marseille and Kiel among others, by taking advantage of Ryanair’s guaranteed lowest fares.
“This agreement enables us to further extend our potential customer base by reaching a type of traveller that regularly uses the web, namely professionals aged between 25 and 45” said Costa’s Sales Director Europe and New Markets Angelo Capurro. “This strategy is very much in line with our large-scale fleet expansion program, with five new ships due to enter service, three of which to be delivered over the next 12 months.”
“Ryanair continues to grow by delivering our guaranteed lowest fares and no fuel surcharges. Ryanair is pleased to team up with Costa Cruises to allow our passengers access to great value cruise holidays at 50 port destinations which are served by Ryanair.” said Ryanair’s director of commercial revenue, Sinead Finn.