August 20th, 2008 I blogged about the potential for cruise lines to co-brand and partner with land based destinations.  

cruise-lines-parntershipsThe concept isn’t new.  For example, Royal Caribbean joined with the Johnny Rockets restaurants chain on its cruise ships, including the Sovereign of the Seas.  It plans to have 12 by 2010.  

The latest deal to cross the wire is a partnership between Costa Cruises and Ryanair.   As a three-year deal, the Italian cruise line is exclusively featured on the Ryanair website with about 50 Ryanair routes that connect to Costa departure points. 

The partnership did raise the eyebrows of a number of UK travel agents, who have questioned the combination of Ryanair’s less than stellar consumer perception with Costa’s rather good one.

According to a Travelmole report, Costa UK managing director Marco Rosa stated its about increasing recognition for the cruise line to gain passengers.  “Our growth until 2012 is huge and everyone is growing capacity so the whole point is finding new passengers.”

Yes indeed.