Costa Cruises and Alitalia, the main Italian airline, have signed a three-year agreement which will see passengers departing Italy welcomed to scheduled and charter flights to reach the ports of embarkation for cruises around the world.
The agreement, presented today at Expo Milano 2015, envisages a total of around 100,000 airline seats on Alitalia flights, made available to Costa Cruises in the period 2015-2018.
It represents further growth for the Italian market of the “fly + cruise” formula, which Costa Crociere was the first to offer to the world back in 1968.
“There is a well-established relationship in place with Alitalia, which takes on significant value for our guests who are looking for Italian style at all times during their travel experience,” Neil Palomba, president of Costa Crociere explained.
“This new agreement underlines our focus on customer service, characterised by the offer of solutions with increased comfort, but also - concludes Palomba - the ability to innovate and to create a system of two Italian companies which represent an essential engine for the growth of tourism in Italy.”
Alitalia flights for Costa Cruises will link a total of 27 Italian airports to the following destinations: the Caribbean and the United States, with the airports in Pointe a Pitre (Guadeloupe) and Miami; the United Arab Emirates; Northern Europe with Warnemunde-Rostock, Amsterdam, Copenhagen and Stockholm; Trieste for one-week cruises in the eastern Mediterranean.
Alitalia chief commercial officer Ariodante Valeri added: “What we are presenting today with Costa Crociere is an agreement of great value between two companies at the forefront of Italian tourism around the world.
“In order to give new impetus to tourism, in an increasingly competitive global market, now more than ever, we need to create a system – institutions, large enterprises, trade and services – and the agreement between Alitalia and Costa Crociere is heading in this direction.”
The agreement between Alitalia and Costa Cruises also envisages significant benefits in terms of schedules, flexibility and above all quality and comfort, the aim being to minimise the time spent managing embarkation and disembarkation procedures and to use all the time available for enjoying the cruise holiday.
Starting from the exclusive “through check-in” service, available at all Italian airports with Alitalia only, on both charter and scheduled flights, Costa cruise passengers will receive boarding passes for all flights through to their final destination, and will also be able to drop off their luggage at the departure airport and have it conveniently brought to their cabin on board the ship.
At Warnemunde-Rostock airport, an even more innovative, top quality service will be available for the return home: on the evening before disembarkation, cruise passengers will be able to drop off their luggage and get their boarding passes for the return flight while still on board the ship.