The 18th edition of the “The Champions of the Sea”, the traditional annual event dedicated to the best travel agents, partners of Costa Cruises, Italy’s largest tourism group and Europe’s no. 1 cruise company, will be held 14-20 February 2011 on board the fleet’s flagship, the Costa Pacifica, the ship of music.

At least 1,500 travel professionals from Europe, Asia, Africa and Oceania are expected to attend this event during the six-day “The Champions of the Sea” cruise that includes calls to Civitavecchia, Savona, Barcelona, Palma de Majorca and Ajaccio.

The best travel agents from around the world, based on the results obtained in 2010, will be awarded on three gala evenings during the cruise in the beautiful backdrop of the Stardust theatre. The awards, to be presented by Costa’s top management, are trophies designed especially for this event that harmoniously combine the “C” of Costa Cruises and a dolphin, the distinctive symbol of the event. The “Over the Top” agencies, the best overall, will also receive a special and dedicated silver creation and a bottle of Amarone Stella Aneri 2004 Special Reserve Costa Pacifica: produced in a limited quantity, only 133 bottles, the wine is aged in one of the 14 barrels reserved for Costa’s ships.

In addition to the awards, during “The Champions of the Sea” cruise travel agents will also be treated to a sneak preview of all the latest innovations in Costa Cruises’ annual 2012 brochure that will be distributed to agencies during that period. The spotlight will be on the Costa Fascinosa, the fleet’s newest flagship and a sister ship of the Costa Favolosa. Currently under construction in Marghera, the Costa Fascinosa will enter into service in the spring of 2012 and become the fifth new Costa ship to be delivered in less than 3 years.

And that’s not all. In fact, travel agents can experience all the excitement of a cruise on board the Costa Pacifica, the ship of music: the best of music from all ages is not the only theme that inspired Joseph Farcus to create the interior design of the various public areas. It’s also a real experience that leads Guests on a “musical” journey as they set out to discover the ship. Each area is matched to one of the 29 songs from the exclusive soundtrack by Mauro Pagani: 22 arrangements of the most famous songs of all times and 7 original compositions written especially for the ship. But Guests on the Costa Pacifica can not only listen to music: Costa’s flagship is also the world’s first cruiser with a genuine recording studio with the most sophisticated equipment where guests can sing their favourite song on a musical base and record a CD as a vacation souvenir. On board the Costa Pacifica Guests will find the most innovative features offered by the Costa fleet: the Samsara spa area with a wellness centre (covering more than 6000 m²), that includes a wellness centre, comfortable cabins with direct access to the area and a special restaurant; a real Grand Prix race car simulator and a central swimming pool area extending over two decks with a retractable glass roof plus a giant 18 m² screen. And not to forget “Playstation World”, an area equipped exclusively with Playstation 3.

During the winter 2010/11 season, the Costa Pacifica will offer 11-day cruises to Egypt, Greece, Israel and Turkey with departures from Civitavecchia and Savona. During the summer of 2011 the ship will be deployed in North Europe, where she will depart from Kiel on cruises to the Baltic capitals, the Norwegian fjords, Cape North in addition to an exceptional cruise to Cape North, Iceland and the Spitsbergen islands.