From rivals to allies: Two cruise OTAs unite to take on the world

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Symphony of the Seas, anchored in the port of Malaga, Spain

Online cruise portal and OTA, Dreamlines, today announced its acquisition of 100% of the share capital of Cruise 1st, a UK-based cruise specialist, signalling its entry into new key markets.

Dreamlines is a fast-growing online cruise portal with a global portfolio of more than 30,000 cruise vacations. It has operations in Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Australia, the Netherlands, France, Italy, Russia, Brazil and the USA. And with its steady rise in the OTA cruise sector, it is already due to adding some new muscle. The international growth of Dreamlines has been impressive and its entry into new key markets shows its ambition to become a global leader in the industry.

By purchasing Cruise 1st (with operations in Australia and Singapore), Dreamlines will add more than 180 employees to its group of more than 400 global team members. From rivals to allies – the two cruise OTAs become one.

Together, the groups had a combined Gross Merchandise Volume (GMV) of more than €320 million in 2017. This year, with the acquisition in place, Dreamlines is expecting a global GMV of more than €400 million. The company will be the largest cruise OTA outside the US market.

“We are expanding our role in the market and will strengthen our position as the cruise OTA with the widest global footprint”

Felix Schneider, managing director of Dreamlines, said: “Entering the UK, the world’s 3rd biggest cruise market by volume, is an important milestone in our global strategy. We are expanding our role in the market and will strengthen our position as the cruise OTA with the widest global footprint. Cruise 1st enables us to offer our customers even more unique cruise holiday products and will grow our operator business, a key factor in our future success.”

Daniel Townsley, CEO of Cruise 1st,  commented: “The synergies between Cruise 1st and Dreamlines were too great to overlook. Combining a hugely successful global OTA with our own proficiency and database of customers in the UK, Australia and Singapore will drive higher sales volumes and margins and deliver huge growth for the business.”

Officially marking its entry into foreign cruise markets, Dreamlines (already a leader in Germany) will target to become a market leader in the UK, Australia and Singapore as well. In Australia, Dreamlines will operate two leading brands CruiseAway and Cruise 1st.

The acquisition will combine both group’s expertise and capabilities; streamline their distribution channels; and enable suppliers to target customers with more efficiency and effectiveness.

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