Costa Cruises is increasing its visibility among Brits by teaming up with Ryanair.
The Italian cruise line has signed a deal with the low-cost airline, with cruises now available through the Ryanair's Web site.
From today, Monday, Ryanair will feature a tab on its U.K. Web site for passengers interested in cruising. Once a passenger clicks through they can search through Costa Cruises' cruise-only deals. Any customers who book through Ryanair's Web site by 16 March will receive £100 onboard credit per cabin.
Speaking about the three-year partnership at a press conference in London, Costa's U.K. managing director Marco Rosa said it was a new "and important channel" for the Italian cruise line as it continues to grow (by 2012, Costa is set to have 17 ships in its fleet). Costa's aim is to attract Ryanair's typically younger (25 to 45), Internet-savvy customers to cruising.
Ryanair will offer easy access to purchase flights to embarkation ports for Costa's Mediterranean departures including Venice, Barcelona and Rome.
Despite Ryanair's extra luggage fares, Rosa is confident that it will still be cheaper for passengers to book with the airline than with other European carriers. Ryanair currently offers 15kg in the hold and 10kg carry-on -- if you go over this -- which on a cruise you are likely to -- the excess baggage charge is £14 per kilo.
Another thing to note -- if you book a Ryanair flight to Barcelona however, beware that the flights actually arrive in Girona, which is around 100 kilometres from the Spanish city. Allow plenty of time to arrive.
The Costa Cruises tab will be available on Ryanair's European sites soon.
--by Kelly Ranson, U.K. Editor
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Costa Cruises Signs Deal with Ryanair
February 16, 2009