Costa Asia celebrated its 10th anniversary in China in Shanghai today by inviting industry partners and staff representatives to witness Costa Asia become the first international cruise company to reach this milestone. According to a prepared statement, the 2,000,000th passenger also attended the celebration as the guest of honor and was awarded a free ticket for a Costa vacation.
Since its maiden China voyage in July 2006, Costa Asia has achieved a number of industry firsts, the cruise line said: “It was the first large international cruise company authorized to operate and deploy home ports in China. Over the past decade, Costa Asia has maintained customer-first principles and focused on innovation and excellence to bring Chinese passengers the most creative and high-quality cruise products, all with the flavor of ‘Italy at Sea’.”
According to the China Cruise & Yacht Industry Association statistics, in 2015, Costa said, China generated more than 1.1 million cruise passengers, and Costa Asia was recognized with the most voyages and passengers, consolidating its leading position in China with a 38.31 percent market share.
From its earlier deployment of the Costa Allegra (2006), Classica (2009) and Romantica (2010), to the more recent Costa Victoria “The Ship of Fashion” (2012), the Atlantica “The Ship of Art” (2013), the Serena “Rome at Sea” (2015) and the Fortuna “Museum at Sea” in April 2016, Costa Asia said it brings its “Italy at Sea” flavor to Chinese passengers, offering them an authentic European cruising experience.
“Over the past decade, we have invested in the China cruise market to bring passengers the flavor of ‘Italy at Sea’. We wish to express our gratitude to local communities for their consistent support.” said Buhdy Bok, Costa Asia President. “We would also like to thank all of our staff for their dedication and the invaluable contributions they have made to the company and its passengers,” he added.
Costa Asia’s fleet will welcome the arrival of the neoRomantica in 2017 and add two 4,200-passenger new-builds specifically designed for the China market, coming in 2019 and 2020. In addition, AIDA Cruises will join Costa Asia in 2017 by positioning a ship in China year-round for the first time, home-ported in Shanghai for the China market.
Costa Asia stated further that it has shown its commitment to the China cruise industry by increasing the number of Chinese onboard staff and collaborating with local institutions to attract and train local talent for the best tailor-made cruising experience for Chinese passengers. Costa Asia has so far employed a total of 2,700 Chinese staff aboard its fleet. The cruise line plans to increase the number of Chinese staff aboard to 50 percent by 2020 and create more career opportunities.
Photo: Costa Group Asia President Buhdy Bok (third from left), Chief Operations Officer of Carnival Asia (forth from left), industry partners and staff representatives attend the ceremony