Grand Mistral in Santos (photo: Daniel Capella)The Costa Group has announced its South American 2013/2014 deployment, with a reduced number of ships. In total, the group will have four ships dedicated to the market, with the new Costa Favolosa and Costa Fascinosa returning to sail 30 cruises, along with the Grand Celebration and Grand Mistral from Iberocruceros.

Together, Costa Cruises and Iberocruceros will offer 151,512 beds to the South American market, marketing a significant decrease in capacity as compared to the 2012/2013 season, with seven ships in the market – three from Iberocruceros and four from Costa.

According to Costa Cruises Brazil: “This decision is in line with the global strategy for development of the group to rebalance its overall capacity. The company aims to maximize the profitability of its fleet and respond to the new demand, derived from the change of behavior of tourists on vacation.”

Reasons cited in a prepared release from Costa include supporting emerging markets such as Asia, strengthening programs in the Mediterranean for the winter, and meeting the growing customer demand in Brazil and Argentina for cruising in other regions, such as the Caribbean and Mediterranean for winter 2013/2014.

The release also states the Iberocruceros will deploy a “new” vessel in the Mediterranean in winter 2013/2014, but that may be the Grand Holiday, which is not sailing in South America.

“Despite the shift in global capacity for summer 2013/14, the importance of the South American market for the Costa Group remains unchanged,” said the release.

"During almost 65 years of operation, South America has become a mature market. Therefore decided to position the array here the newest products and technology fleet, the ships called destiny," said Rene Hermann, CEO of Costa Cruises in South America.