Costa Cruises, the largest Italian travel group and Europe’s n.1 cruise line, which has been based in Liguria for over 60 years, the Ligurian Regional Councilor’s Office for Tourism and the Agenzia “in Liguria” (Ligurian Tourist Board) have joined forces for the promotion on board the Company’s ships of Liguria’s artistic, natural and food & wine heritage.

The initiative begins on September 29 on the Costa Luminosa – the 14th member of the Costa fleet christened in Genoa on June 5 this year at a Guinness World Record Inauguration – and initially the project involves three 11-day cruises to Spain, Morocco and the Canary Islands, with departures from the Savona Palacrociere cruise terminal.

The cruise program in each case features a theme night with typical Ligurian food:  marinated anchovies in pesto sauce, trenette al pesto with potatoes and string beans, braised rabbit in Vermentino wine, canestrelli with pine nuts, honey and chinotto sauce.

The Agenzia “in Liguria” will provide a promotional video to be broadcast on the shipboard television system in the 1,130 cabins on the ship the day before and the same evening as the theme dinner, as well as a 60” video on Liguria’s vocation for tourism, to be screened in the theater.  The Ligurian evening includes pesto-making demonstrations at which the ship’s culinary experts will show how to prepare Genoa’s most famous sauce the traditional way using a mortar and pestle.  The same day Guests will find a booklet in their cabins – with recipes for Ligurian dishes and providing information about the region – with the compliments of Regione Liguria.

To host this initiative Costa Cruises and the Ligurian Regional Administration have chosen the Costa Luminosa, the most exclusive and innovative Costa liner, which weighs in at 92,600 tons and can accommodate up to 2,826 Guests.  Most of the Guests on the three cruises will be either German or French, two of the most represented nationalities among foreign holidaymakers who visit Liguria.

This promotional venture on board the Costa Luminosa further strengthens the partnership between Regione Liguria and Italy’s number one cruise line.  Back in 2007 a similar initiative enabled some 110,000 of Costa’s cruise Guests, from over 60 different countries, to become acquainted with the attractions of Liguria.

The agreement between Costa Cruises and the Ligurian Regional Councilor’s Office for Tourism confirms the fact that the Company has its roots firmly planted in Liguria:  the cruise line’s history began here more than six decades ago and today it is still headquartered in Genoa, from where it directly manages one of its main cruise terminals, the Savona Palacrociere, and where it has built many of its new vessels, at Fincantieri’s shipyard in Sestri Ponente.  By virtue of this presence, in 2008 alone Costa Cruises produced total business output in Liguria worth almost 400 million euros, considering direct, indirect and induced impacts generated by port stopovers and investments in new ships.

The Costa Luminosa  is “the diamond” of the fleet, the most exclusive and innovative ship, intended for Costa’s “high-end” customers.  Respect for the environment is one of her top priorities.  The Costa Luminosa is the first ship in Italy and one of the first in the world to be equipped for “cold ironing”, namely a system whereby vessels are plugged into shoreside electrical power.  The central theme for the decoration, designed by the ingenious architect and interior designer Joseph Farcus, is light in all its forms.  The Costa Luminosa is a trendsetter in contemporary design thanks to a distinctive avant-garde style, interiors decorated with premium materials (20 different types of marble, timbers, mother-of-pearl, granite, 120 “La Murrina” Murano glass chandeliers) and the use of LED lights.  Plus prestigious works of art – 288 originals and more than 4,700 copies – specially commissioned for the ship, notably the sculpture by Fernando Botero “Donna Sdraiata 2004” (Reclining Woman 2004) that dominates the central atrium.  There are an incredibly large number of fun and entertaining things to do on board.  In particular, with the ship’s “magnificent 5”, meaning 5 innovations based on the use of leading-edge technology:  4D Cinema, where you are fully immersed in the adventure with 3D images and special effects; the latest generation Golf simulator with thirty-seven 18-hole courses and a 100 m² outdoor area with putting green; the Grand Prix driving simulator, produced from an original GP car with the same software and technology used by the F1 champion drivers themselves in training; “PlayStation World”, an area exclusively equipped with PlayStation 3; plus a roller skating track.  Then there’s also the exclusive 3500 m² “Samsara Spa” wellness centre with the Technogym Kinesis circuit, making its world debut on a cruise ship, and the Club Restaurant with menus created by Ettore Bocchia, Executive Chef at the Grand Hotel Villa Serbelloni in Bellagio and a Michelin-Star restaurateur.

The Costa Luminosa is 92,600 gross tonnage and can carry up to 2,826 Guests, accommodated in 1,130 cabins, including 772 veranda cabins.

Itineraries
2009/2010 Winter cruises from Dubai
In Winter 2009/2010 the Costa Luminosa will be offering 7-day cruises in the Arabic Gulf, departing from Dubai, Costa being the first operator in the world to market this destination; the itinerary includes calls at  Dubai, Muscat (Oman), Fujairah (United Arab Emirates), Abu Dhabi (United Arab Emirates), Bahrain and Dubai.  

2010 Summer cruises in Northern Europe
Amsterdam will be the Costa Luminosa’s homeport throughout the 2010 summer season with departures on spectacular cruises, lasting between 11 and 14 days, to the Baltic capitals (calling at Copenhagen, Stockholm, Helsinki, St. Petersburg, Tallinn and Bornholm), North Cape and Iceland.  On August 1 the Costa Luminosa will offer a 20-day summer cruise to Greenland, an exclusive innovation included in Costa’s 2010 brochure.