Costa Crociere, the leading cruise company in Europe and South America, has formed a global strategic marketing partnership with the Singapore Tourism Board. Both companies will engage in joint marketing initiatives in the Australian, Asia Pacific and European markets for above the line and below the line cruise promotional campaigns. To heighten awareness of cruising as a desired travel option, joint mass-market advertising, product awareness seminars for travel industry partners and product brochures to consumers have been planned.

These marketing initiatives will be launched first in Australia, then in Europe in July 2007. The Indonesia and India markets will follow in 2008.

During the last winter season, Costa Marina offered 11-night and 14- or 15-night cruises departing from Singapore to the loveliest destinations in the Asia Pacific and a 33-night magnificent cruise from Singapore to wonderful ports in the Middle East, India and Italy. This year, Costa Allegra will commence cruises from Singapore on November 3, on its 14-night ‘The Jewels of the Far East’ tour with visits to Asia Pacific’s most fascinating ports.

Passengers will cruise from Singapore in the early evening, making stops in Ho Chi Minh City and Da Nang in Vietnam; Sanya Hainan Island in China; Hong Kong; Manila in the Phillippines; Kota Kinabalu in Malaysia; and Bandar Seri Begawan in Brunei, before returning to Singapore. Therefore Costa’s Guests will be able to choose between 2 different home ports for this itinerary: Singapore and Hong Kong.

Costa Crociere’s Vice President of Pacific Asia Operations, Massimo Brancaleoni, says the partnership will provide more variety and greater flexibility for tourists wishing to visit the Far East.

“We are very excited by the opportunities this alliance represents,” says Mr Brancaleoni.
“Singapore is a unique world city, famous for its blend of culture, cuisine, arts and architecture. It, as a destination in itself, is a major attraction for tourists. ’The Jewels of the Far East’ program combines the visit to this Asian world-class city, together with a cruise on our majestic and fun-filled ship traveling through exciting and exotic destinations. Doing so, we are confident guests can now experience a once-in-a-lifetime vacation".

Mr Brancaleoni says Singapore is an ideal cruise hub, with the tranquil waters providing all year round optimum cruising conditions.With its diverse cultures and landscape, gentle hospitality and varied lifestyle options, Asia has much to offer visitors, be it tantalising golden beaches, hallowed places of worship, frenetic shopping, vibrant nightlife or relaxing spas.

“Cruise companies are recognising the attractiveness and charm of Asia as a cruising playground and many are beginning to grow their presence in Asia. We are happy to work with Costa Crociere to develop and market more new and exciting itineraries that showcase the best of Singapore and Asia,” said Ms Carrie Kwik, Director of Cluster Development, Sightseeing and Cruise, of the Singapore Tourism Board. “We hope cruise passengers will tap on Singapore’s excellent air connectivity and embark on an adventure to cruise through Asia to experience its exotic charms.”

Costa will berth at the Singapore Cruise Centre, located next to Singapore’s newest attraction, VivoCity, Singapore’s largest retail, entertainment and lifestyle destination.

The new partnership with Singapore is another stepping stone for Costa Crociere’s expansion in Asia. Costa Crociere is the only cruise company in the world to offer regular cruises from Dubai, Mauritius, Singapore and China (Hong Kong, Shanghai and Tianjin). The Italian company has been operating in the Asian market since 2006 with 2 local offices, one in Shanghai and the other one in Hong Kong. Furthermore in June 2007 Costa Crociere signed a cooperative agreement with the Dubai Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM) including joint marketing actions promoting both brands worldwide and the opening of a new representative Costa’s office in Dubai.