When the Costa neoRomantica heads to Asia next year, it will not be with the intent to spend the full year sourcing Chinese passengers as the ship will instead concentrate on building up the Japanese market for the Italian brand, according to Kelvin Wong, vice president commercial, Costa Asia.
The 1993-built neoRomantica will be the fifth Costa ship in Asia, and the move to Japan will also help offset capacity growth in China.
The ship will use Fukuoka, Maizuru and Kanazawa in Japan and Busan in South Korea as embarkation ports.
Sailings will offer port stops in Japan, South Korea and Russia.
“We see Japan as a market with great potential,” said Wong. “That’s why we established an office in Tokyo
earlier this year. Deployment of the premium neoRomantica will reinforce our leading position in Asia and allow us to continue to significantly grow in the Japanese cruise market. The Costa neoRomantica is targeted to Japanese passengers, but will also accommodate South Korean passengers.”
The deployment move demonstrates Costa’s expansion into other Asian markets, offsetting capacity growth in China. It also contributes significant capacity to the Japanese market, where the neoRomantica will join Princess Cruises, which has seasonal deployment, and a trio of local Japanese operators.