The announcement this week of a partnership between the pair follows speculation in the last six months as to how Ebay would ramp up its presence in the online travel sector.
It had been widely expected that Ebay would use its new Express service – non-auction deals with retailers – to make serious inroads into travel but the EasyCruise deal marks a belief in the existing system of allowing users to bid for services.
Senior category manager for travel at Ebay, Karim Lankarany, said: “The cruise offers by EasyCruise will make an excellent addition to the growing range of travel products on Ebay.”
The EasyCruise deal is the first in the world by a cruise company and will allow users on local sites in the UK, US, Germany, Italy, Switzerland, Austria, India and Australia to both bid for a cruise or through Ebay’s buy-it-now system.
Auction prices will start at £1 in the UK or buy-it-now for £39 for a three-night break for two people sharing a standard cabin.
EasyCruise founder Stelios Haji–Ioannou said: “EasyCruise is a pioneering brand which consistently fights against the norm in the cruise industry both in terms of our offering and our prices, so to be the first to offer this service on eBay is a natural continuation of the brand for us.
“Our primary business has always come via our internet site, EasyCruise.com, so to link with the worlds online market place is obviously a perfect fit.
“The deal will offer consumers a completely new way to book their holidays, and we are very excited about the prospects this brings.”
Ebay currently has around 210 million registered users worldwide.