The first cruise dedicated to Edson Arantes do Nascimento, known around the world as Pelé, on board the Costa Serena, the flagship of the Costa Cruises fleet (together with her sister ships the Costa Concordia and the most recent addition Costa Pacifica) is sailing on.

“O’Rey”, hailed as “the king of world football”, is accompanying Guests on this unforgettable cruise holiday. It is an exclusive and totally innovative event in the world tourism industry, offered exclusively by Costa Cruises, the largest Italian travel group and Europe’s favorite cruise line.

“I’m delighted to be on board the Costa Serena together with other big names from the sports and media world for this special event dedicated to my two greatest loves: soccer and my home country,” the Brazilian football legend commented. “During my career as a footballer, I was often far away from my family and my friends, but I never forgot the special atmosphere and the unique sights and sounds of my country. When I began to feel ‘saudade’, meaning when I was homesick, what I wanted the most was to be able to experience the traditions and customs of my beloved Brazil.” Pelé also said, “On board the Costa Serena this week everything is focused on Brazilian flavors, colors and rhythms so I feel very much at home here and I’m sure that, regardless of nationality, all the passengers will be as thrilled as I am by the wonders of my country.”

The 7-day cruise, which departed from Venice yesterday (June 28) and, after Bari, will be calling at Olympia, Mykonos, Rhodes and Dubrovnik, features a blend of sounds, sensations and tastes that is 100% “Brasileiro”: a perfect combination of pleasure and fun, with lots of parties and musical shows starring great Brazilian performing artists like the sensational Grupo Sereno.

Culinary delights are also on center stage, with an array of Brazilian delicacies on offer at a series of events, including theme parties like “Brasíl en Alta Mar”. Another highlight is the exclusive presentation and screening of the movie Pelé Forever, a whirlwind of his most glorious moments on the soccer field. There will also be a fantastic nighttime poolside party with a “Carnaval” of Rio feel to it, featuring a performance by an amazing Brazilian Samba School.
To sum up, then, this cruise is a yellow and green extravaganza where the stars are soccer, samba, “carnaval”, “feijoada” and “caipirinha”.

Pelé’s cruise is another example of Costa Cruises’ links with the world of soccer and sport in general: “Costa Cruises’ involvement in sport has always been a hallmark of its marketing strategy,” commented the Company’s President Gianni Onorato. “Costa Cruises has been Institutional Sponsor of SS Calcio Napoli (Naples football club) since the 2006/2007 season, while it has been Official Supplier of Juventus FC for the last two seasons; some Juventus players are currently starring in our latest TV advertising campaign. After the cruise with Pelé, arranged in partnership with Olympia Cruzeiros, Costa will be hosting another special cruise event marking the Centenary of the massively supported Sao Paulo football club S.C.Corinthians, scheduled on board the Costa Concordia in February 2010 in South America. Last, but not least, Olympic champion fencer Valentina Vezzali was chosen to be the godmother at the recent christening of the Costa Luminosa, once again confirming Costa’s reputation for actively partnering sport at the highest level.”