Costa Cruises, the largest Italian travel group and Europe’s n.1 cruise line, today announced that it has entered into a new agreement with Starboard Cruise Services, Inc., the world's largest onboard retailer, which continues the partnership between the companies that began in 1988. Under this new, five-year agreement, Starboard will provide an enhanced assortment of merchandise in Costa’s onboard shops, including a wider offering of European luxury brands as well as a more updated, fashionable collection of Costa Cruises-branded apparel and accessories. 

Each year, Costa offers 250 destinations, which attract guests from more than 170 countries, across its current fleet of 14 ships, with two more ships being added within 2012.  The merchandise assortment in each Costa Cruises “Galleria Shop” will be tailored to reflect the cruise itinerary and the preferences of Guests based on their nationality mix.  Additionally, Costa Cruises will collaborate with the Starboard personnel in the Galleria Shops to ensure consistent execution of its customer service brand strategy, which reflects the highest standard in cruiseline travel.  Among the range of luxury brands to be carried in the Galleria Shops will be the most renowned and beloved ones such as: Dior, Chanel, Bulgari, Versace, Ferragamo, Calvin Klein, Moschino, Prada, Dolce & Gabbana, Gucci, Armani, Hermes, Hugo Boss, Versace, Valentino, and Swarovski.

Starboard and Costa Cruises have also worked together to innovate the product range offered, with special regard to Costa Cruises’ in-house collection:  fashion items and accessories with the Company logo and reflecting the latest trends.

Gianni Onorato, President of Costa Cruises, said, “Having an exceptional retail offering is an important part of the holiday experience. Costa Cruises’ ships offer an high quality product for an international clientele, including the very best of “Made in Italy”, that is synonymous worldwide with quality, good taste and prestige: that is our goal also for the onboard shopping experience. Due to Starboard’s deep understanding of the most successful onboard merchandise assortments and preferences across nationalities, they have been an ideal partner for us. We look forward to working closely with them to make our onboard shops even more appealing and exciting for our Guests.”

Starboard’s President, Robin (Rob) Norris, said, “We are delighted to continue our relationship with Costa and deliver the finest onboard retail experience available. This includes further improving our assortments to reflect a greater European fashion sensibility as well as providing a more targeted offering that reflects passengers’ nationalities and the destinations they will visit.”