Only 6 days to go to the big inauguration event for the Costa Deliziosa (www.costadeliziosa.com), the new jewel of the Costa Cruises fleet,  which will be held in Dubai on February 23 in a unique and innovative ceremony staged by the Dubai Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM) together with Europe’s n.1 cruise line.

The Costa Deliziosa, which was built in Italy by Fincantieri and delivered in Venice on January 30 this year, set sail from Savona on February 5 on her Grand Inaugural Cruise taking her – across the Mediterranean, Suez Canal, Red Sea and Arabian Gulf – to Dubai, where she will making a stopover from February 23 through 26.

The Costa Deliziosa, the fifteenth Costa fleet member, will be the first cruise ship ever to be named in an Arab city.  The ceremony will further strengthen the links between Costa Cruises, the largest Italian travel group and Europe’s n. 1 cruise line, and the DTCM.  Over 3,000 guests are expected to witness the event, including about 2,200 Costa Guests traveling on the first sector of the maiden cruise.

En route to Dubai, the Costa Deliziosa – a roving ambassador of Italian-made excellence – will be celebrating with two first ever calls:  one on February 20 in Muscat, the splendid capital of Oman where the new cruise terminal will be inaugurated, and the other on February 22 in Abu Dhabi.  During both stopovers the ship will be met by government delegations and Italian State dignitaries who will pay a special tribute to the Italian Tricolor.

Tuesday, February 23 in Dubai will see the grand inauguration event, involving not only the ship but also the new cruise terminal at Port Rashid and part of the quay where a stage and grandstand with seating for 3,000 will be set up specially to celebrate the Costa Deliziosa.

The inaugural show is set to be a memorable occasion and will stress the links between Italian and Arab culture:  the first part will be an artistic journey into the history and culture of Dubai and the Emirates, with traditional dance and music; then, the second part will be dedicated to Italian culture, music and art.  Khalid Ahmed Bin Sulayem, Director General of the DTCM, and Pier Luigi Foschi, Costa Crociere S.p.A. Chairman & CEO, will both make speeches and there will also be an exchange of greetings between local dignitaries and their counterparts from the Italian government.  In keeping with tradition, the ceremony will climax with the arrival of the godmother, who will cut the ribbon thus letting the bottle of champagne break against the bows of the ship.  The event will end with a fireworks display and a gala dinner in traditional Arab style.

The naming ceremony of the Costa Deliziosa in Dubai will be broadcast live on www.costadeliziosa.com. Costa Cruises’ fans can share their emotions and report on the event through the social channels of the company (facebook, blog, twitter, youtube).

The inaugural event  for the Costa Deliziosa is taking place in Dubai under the patronage of the Italian Embassy to the United Arab Emirates, the Consulate General of Italy in Dubai and the ICE (Istituto Italiano per il Commercio Estero, or Italian Institute of Foreign Trade).  It is being staged in partnership with Alpha Tours, Dnata, Emirates, Grand Hyatt, Gulf Venture, Jumeirah, Maserati and RHS (Raiss Hassan Saadi Group).

This event, which constitutes another milestone in the development of the cruise industry not only in Dubai but also in the region as a whole, is the result of an alliance between Costa Cruises, the first operator in the world to market regular cruises in the Gulf back in 2006, and the Government of Dubai, through the DTCM:  this solid partnership has contributed to the development of local tourism.

Following her Grand Inaugural Cruise, which will continue after the inaugural event to India and the Maldives, in March the Costa Deliziosa will be redeployed back in Dubai where, like her sister ship Costa Luminosa, she will be offering 7-day Arabian Gulf cruises.

The itinerary includes 2 nights in Dubai and one-day stopovers in the ports of Muscat (Oman), Fujairah & Abu Dhabi (United Arab Emirates) and Bahrain.  The Costa Deliziosa will be sailing from Dubai every Sunday from March 14 through May 9, 2010; the Costa Luminosa is departing every Saturday through April 10, 2010.

Looking beyond the two jewels of the Costa fleet, this winter the Costa Europa is operating on another intercontinental itinerary:  18-day cruises from Savona to Dubai and Dubai to Savona – on an exclusive route crossing the Mediterranean, the Suez Canal and the Red Sea.

In winter 2010/2011, Costa Cruises will once again be offering 7-day Gulf cruises on the Costa Deliziosa and Costa Luminosa, the top of the range of Europe’s n.1 cruise line.

In summer this year and next, the Costa Deliziosa will be deployed on cruises to the Norwegian fjords and Baltic cities; another highlight will be on December 28, 2011, when she sets sail from Savona on an exceptional 100-day round-the-world cruise, which can also be broken down into three stand-alone segments:  Savona-Los Angeles; Los Angeles-Singapore; Singapore-Dubai.