Costa Cruises -- the only Italian-flagged cruise line -- is making Costa Fortuna, Costa Luminosa and Costa Atlantica available to the Italian international diplomatic service for onboard celebrations marking Italian Republic Day, June 2. The three ships will provide venues for receptions organized by Italian embassies and consulates in six European countries and Singapore.

La festa della Repubblica commemorates June 2, 1946, when the people of Italy voted in the country's first-ever national referendum for a republican system of government instead of a monarchy. Each year Costa Cruises and its guests celebrate the birth of the Italian Republic by toasting the historic event as the Italian national anthem plays from the bridges of all 14 ships of the fleet.

"Costa Cruises is an Italian company by birth and vocation," said Costa Crociere S.p.A. President Gianni Onorato. "Over the last 65 years our Italian-flagged ships have taken the tricolore to all [seven] continents, offering millions of guests from more than 180 different countries an experience permeated by the quality, beauty, art and hospitality that typify Italy.

"We are proud to make our ships -- Italian territory for all intents and purposes -- available to celebrate this important national occasion with our diplomatic service, guests and crew members."

The first event marking Italy's national day was held today at Le Havre, France, on Costa Fortuna. Celebrations will continue May 31 at Oslo, Norway, on Costa Luminosa; June 2 at Copenhagen, Denmark, on Costa Fortuna, and June 5 at Singapore on Costa Atlantica.

Those Italian Republic Day celebrations will be followed by other initiatives. When Costa Luminosa calls at Helsinki, Finland; Stockholm, Sweden, and Tallinn, Estonia, the Italian embassies in each city will host onboard events for the local community.

For more than 65 years Costa Cruises' ships have showcased Italian-made excellence throughout the world with their quality of service, variety of entertainment, range of fine food and wine, and exclusive onboard art collections.