Costa Cruises has released the advance copies of its 2012 brochure.

Almost a year ahead of the cruise departure dates, Costa Cruises has announced its staggering range of vacation options for 2012:  over 250 destinations and more than 130 different itineraries with comprehensive details about shoreside excursions (there are typically 7 to choose from in every port of call) and shipboard services and amenities.  Unique, unforgettable cruise vacations in the world’s finest places:  the Mediterranean, Northern Europe, China and the Far East, the United Arab Emirates, Indian Ocean, Red Sea, Caribbean, South America, “Round-the-World” cruise.  Costa Cruises is set once again to confirm its leadership in Europe, with an increase in its total capacity in 2012 of 12% compared to the previous year.

A Costa vacation is not just sun, sea, fun and relaxation.  Each stopover can be visited on Costa’s organized shore excursions; there will be over 2,200 to choose from in 2012, with a wide range of activities and something for everyone. About 300 shore excursions are eco-tourism excursions, that minimize the impact on the ecosystem, visiting parks and local communities.

Information about Costa’s 2012 cruises will be freely available for all Costa customers wherever they are, thanks to the main channels of communication in the digital world:  websites, mobile & smart phones, iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch and social networking sites.  The full 2012 brochure will be posted on the Costa website ( and on the “Costa Digital Library” application for the iPad.

Also, Costa Cruises’ 2012 brochure will have a “QR code”, enabling smartphone users to download videos illustrating the new edition.

Due to be distributed to about 80,000 travel agencies worldwide, the 2012 brochure will be presented at a special preview to around 1,500 Travel Agents on board the flagship Costa Pacifica from February 15 through 20 for “The Champions at Sea”, the event staged annually for Costa Cruises’ best partner Travel Agents worldwide.

The main news in the 2012 brochure regards the Italian Company’s ships and itineraries:

1. The return of the “Round-the-World” cruise:  100 days in the wake of famous navigators

For the second year running, Costa is offering the “Round World Cruise”, on board the Costa Deliziosa. On the back of the enormous success of the first edition of the cruise, presented in February 2010 in the 2011 brochure, Costa is once again offering its customers the chance to experience the cruise of a lifetime.  Departure from Savona on January 6, 2013 on a 100-day world voyage westbound, in the wake of the great navigators of the past.  From Savona to Los Angeles via the Caribbean, the Panama Canal and Mexico; from Los Angeles to Singapore with stopovers in Hawaii, Samoa, Fiji, New Zealand and Australia; from Singapore to Savona via Thailand, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, India, the United Arab Emirates, Oman, the Red Sea and Egypt.  This marks the revival of what was for so long a highlight of the Italian line’s operations spanning more than 6 decades, now with all the luxurious amenities of the Costa Deliziosa, the most exclusive and innovative member of the fleet.

2. Spring 2012 sees a new flagship Costa Fascinosa

The Costa Fascinosa (114,500 gross tonnage and 3780 total Guests), which is currently under construction at Fincantieri’s Marghera shipyard, will be the 16th ship in the Costa fleet, and is the sister ship of the Costa Favolosa. She completes Costa’s fleet expansion program, which began in 2000 and entailed a total investment worth 5.5 billion euros and the addition of 13 ships.  As her name suggests (Fascino is Italian for “appeal”), the Costa Fascinosa will be a “glamorous” ship; her interior design draws it inspiration from global icons of allure such as Gilda, Tosca and Marlene.  On board there is a 6,000 m2 wellness center, Samsara Spa, that has cabins with direct access and a dedicated restaurant.  Also hi-tech fun with the 4D cinema, cutting-edge golf and Grand Prix driving simulators, and PlayStation World with PS3.  The Costa Fascinosa will make her debut on a 3-day vernissage cruise departing from Venice on May 7, 2012, and calling at Bari, Corfu and Dubrovnik.  This will be followed by her inaugural cruise, which leaves Venice on May 11, 2012:  a 10-day itinerary taking in Greece, Israel, Turkey and Croatia.  Throughout the 2012 summer season the Costa Fascinosa will be deployed on 7-day cruises from Venice and Bari to Greece and Croatia.

3. Sixth year of UAE cruises and new cruises in India and the Maldives.  The new Costa Favolosa in Dubai and the Costa Mediterranea in Abu Dhabi

Big news also for the cruises in the United Arab Emirates, a destination that Costa Cruises introduced to the world back in 2006.  The new flagship Costa Favolosa, which is set to leave the Marghera yard at the end of June 2011, will be positioned in Dubai throughout winter 2011/12, on 7-day cruises with 2 days in Dubai, one-day calls at Muscat (Oman), Fujairah (UAE), Abu Dhabi (UAE) and Bahrain, plus an additional overnight stay back in Dubai.  A second ship, the Costa Mediterranea, will be based in Costa Cruises’ new homeport of Abu Dhabi.  The itinerary on this cruise, again lasting a week, takes in Abu Dhabi (2 days), Muscat (Oman), Fujairah (UAE), Dubai (2 days), Bahrain and back to Abu Dhabi. Thanks to the positioning of the Costa Favolosa and the Costa Mediterranea, Costa will increase in its total capacity in the area of 16%. In January and February 2012 the Costa Mediterranea will leave from Abu Dhabi on 3 exclusive 18-day cruises to India and the Maldives, which will also include calls at Oman and in the United Arab Emirates.

4. 15 Costa ships in the Mediterranean

Costa Cruises will be the number 1 cruise company in the Mediterranean again in 2012, with the mass deployment of some 15 ships during the year, which amounts to a 10% increase in capacity compared to 2011.  Among the news is the welcome return of Trieste as one of the Italian Company’s domestic ports of departure.  From May through November the Costa Classica will leave every Saturday from Trieste and on Sundays from Ancona on cruises to the Greek islands, Athens and Dubrovnik.  The addition of Trieste will bring to 11 the number of Italian ports of departure used regularly by Costa, making it “plain sailing” for the country’s vacationers to find a cruise “close to home”.

5. The Red Sea all year round with 3 ships

Costa Cruises will be further strengthening its presence in the Red Sea in 2012.  Not only winter cruises then, but cruising all year round with 3 ships deployed:  the Costa Allegra and Grand Voyager from December 2011 through March 2012; and the Costa Marina from March through November 2012. The Grand Voyager belongs to the fleet of Iberocruceros, the Costa Group brand dedicated to the Spanish and Portuguese markets.  This vessel will be operated by Costa Cruises, she will have the trademark yellow funnel with the blue “C”, she will have Costa personnel on board and she will offer the same distinctive Italian-style service excellence found on other Costa cruises.  All 3 ships operating in the Red Sea will be deployed on 7-day cruises departing from Sharm el Sheik with port calls at Eilat (Israel), Aqaba (Jordan), Safaga (Egypt), Sokhna (Egypt), and return to Sharm el Sheik.  A first for Italian tourism, Costa’s Red Sea cruises combine a relaxing vacation with a culturally enlightening experience:  Guests marvel at the superb natural scenery with the stunning sea and coastline, but are equally enthralled by the region’s amazing cultural and archeological treasures.  The Red Sea as seen from the sea, like never before.

6. The Caribbean:  a new itinerary and wellness cruises

A new itinerary for one of Costa Cruises’ “classic” destinations.  In winter 2011/12 the Costa Atlantica will be offering a 10-day cruise departing from Miami and porting at Grand Turk, Ocho Rios (Jamaica), Grand Cayman, Roatan (Honduras), Cozumel (Mexico) and Nassau (Bahamas).   For the first time the Costa Luminosa will also be positioned in the Caribbean on 7-day cruises calling at a different island each day.  Also for the first time, the Costa Luminosa will bring to the Caribbean “wellness cruises” with all the superb amenities of the Samsara Spa:  treatments, winter garden, solarium, thalassotherapy pool, sauna and Turkish bath, cabins with direct Spa access and a dedicated restaurant. In 2012 Costa total capacity in the area will increase of 25%

7. Northern Europe:  5 ships and Europe’s finest capital cities

Some 5 ships will be deployed in Northern Europe, on cruises bound both for the Norwegian fjords and for the Baltic cities.  A major innovation is the introduction of an 8-day itinerary on the Costa Magica out of Amsterdam allowing Guests to visit 6 of Europe’s top capital cities (and fashionable weekend getaway destinations) on the one cruise:  Paris, London, Amsterdam, Berlin, Copenhagen and Oslo.

8. A new ship in Asia:  Costa Victoria

Costa is expanding its operations in Asia and the Far East,  another destination that Costa pioneered back in 2006, with the deployment for the first time of the Costa Victoria, which will replace the Costa Classica.  Thanks to the Costa Victoria positioning, Costa Cruises will increase its offer in the area of 40%. The itineraries include short and long cruises, from Singapore and Shanghai, to the loveliest destinations in China, Taiwan, Japan, South Korea, Vietnam, Malaysia and Thailand.  For the first time on these cruises the Costa Victoria will offer Guests the chance to book 246 veranda cabins and enjoy the splendid scenery of the Far East from the privacy of their own staterooms.

10. More than 2,200 Shore Excursions with something for everyone

In 2012 Costa’s Guests will have a choice of over 2200 excursions, with something to match each person’s interests and lifestyle:  there are cultural activities, sporting activities, outdoor sightseeing expeditions, shopping outings and culinary explorations (in collaboration with the Michelin Guide).  You can also arrange a personalized excursion with your own driver and tour guide.  Increasingly popular, Costa’s eco-tourism excursions comprise visits to parks, oases and nature reserves, with programs that minimize the impact on the ecosystem and create economic opportunities for the local communities.

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