Cruises.co.uk sets .uk domain sale record

cruise.co.uk logoCruises.co.uk sold for £560,000 (US$1m) in a sale that sets a record for the sale of a .uk domain name. The purchase by www.CRUISE.co.uk of the plural version of its website from German travel company Nees Reisen, shatters the previous record for a .co.uk domain name set in October 2007 when venture capital firm ASAP Ventures acquired the domain recycle.co.uk for £150,000.

With the number of people taking cruises from the UK rising rapidly – up eleven per cent in 2007 to 1.35million and expected to reach two million by 2012 – demand for such domain names will only increase as well. And no doubt the owners of cruise.co.uk thought it better they have the domain name than someone else.

Currently Cruises’ is consistently ranked first on Google, with ‘cruise’ just behind. According to Seamus Conlon, MD of www.CRUISE.co.uk (pictured), he wanted the top positions so that when internet users are searching for cruise deals, reviews or news we are the first port of call.

The news release announcing the purchase by the operator of the cruise.co.uk website is below.

The Million Dollar “S”

UK Domain Record Shattered As Cruises.co.uk Sails To £560,000 ($1m)

It is possibly the highest price paid for a single letter of the alphabet, but cruise community website www.CRUISE.co.uk today announced that it has bought the domain name www.CRUISES.co.uk for £560,000 (€750,000; US$1,095,000), setting a new British record.

The purchase by www.CRUISE.co.uk of the plural version of its eponymous website from German travel company Nees Reisen, shatters the previous record for a .co.uk domain name set in October 2007 when venture capital firm ASAP Ventures acquired the domain recycle.co.uk for £150,000.

Already the leading online website in the UK, with 18,000 active contributors to the site, the company announced that www.CRUISES.co.uk which launched today would become its new site for online social networking, used to create a cruise community with user-generated content to meet the demands of this expanding sector.

According to the Passenger Shipping Association, the number of Britons taking a cruise grew by 11% to 1.35 million in 2007, with the number of first-time cruisers increasing significantly. Carnival UK’s Chief Executive, David Dingle, said in January that he expects the market to reach 2 million by 2012.

Seamus Conlon, MD of www.CRUISE.co.uk, says that the purchase of the plural domain name of its site demonstrates how serious the business is about retaining its number one position in a fast-growing sector.

He said: “The cruise market is one of the fastest and most consistently growing sectors in the travel industry – a trend predicted to continue – and our website, www.CRUISE.co.uk, is the market leader.

“This year we are launching a number of initiatives – of which this is the second – to cement that position and to increase user-generated content.

“‘Cruises’ is consistently ranked first on Google, with ‘cruise’ just behind. We wanted the top positions so that when internet users are searching for cruise deals, reviews or news we are the first port of call.

Commenting on the importance of user-generated content to its online business, Mr Conlon added: “Unlike normal package holidays, where people have been going to the same places and doing the same things for years, cruising is still a great unknown for a large percentage of our potential market.

“These people may not have friends or colleagues who have cruised, so they don’t have a reference point – someone who can give their personal recommendation.

“This is why several real and, most importantly, unedited past passenger cruise reviews are so important in the decision making process of potential cruisers, both regular and new.”

The business is aiming to more than double the level of user-generated content by increasing online customer reviews, comments, and information.

In its first campaign, launched earlier this month, the company purchased 10,000 copies of the £16.99 Berlitz Cruise Guide and is giving them away absolutely free, inclusive of postage and packing, to anyone posting a cruise review on its website. The site has received over 2000 reviews since this campaign was launched.

In 2007 founder and chairman Andrew Gardner and MD Seamus Conlon (formerly MD of Airtours) were involved in a management buy out from Carnival corporation who own and operate: P&O Cruises, Princess Cruises, Cunard Cruise Line, Ocean Village Holidays, Holland America and Carnival Cruises. www.CRUISE.co.uk employs 70 staff and last year had a turnover of £57m.

Top five highest prices for .co.uk domain names

  1. cruises.co.uk, £560,000 – purchased January 2008, by www.cruise.co.uk
  2. recycle.co.uk, £150,000 – purchased October 2007
  3. ink.co.uk, £130,425 – purchased 2007
  4. mobile.co.uk, £120,000 – purchased 2007
  5. taste.co.uk, £110,000 – purchased 1997

World’s most expensive domain names (USD)

  1. sex.com, $12 million – purchased 2005
  2. porn.com, $9.5 million – purchased 2007
  3. business.com, $7.5 million – purchased 1999
  4. diamond.com, $7.5 million – purchased 2006
  5. beer.com, $7 million – purchased 1999