Costa Cruises, the leading cruise line in Italy and Europe, was the first international company to schedule regular cruises in China and Asia. Its operations began on July 2, 2006 with the Costa Allegra, which flies the Italian flag. A year and a half later, following the success of the product marketed both in China and internationally, Costa has decided to strengthen its presence in Asia from March 2009 onward with the deployment of a second ship – the 53,000 gross tonnage Costa Classica. With accommodations for 1,680 guests and 590 crewmembers, this refined and elegant vessel epitomizes Costa’s signature Italian style and ambience for which it is known worldwide. With this second cruise ship in the Asian market, Costa will offer nearly 55,000 additional berths with a total of over 60 cruises, thus bringing its overall capacity in the region to 85,000 berths. Since Costa began operations in the Far East, more than 50,000 guests have sailed on the Costa Allegra on a total of approximately 100 cruises.
The Costa Allegra will offer 30 cruises from November 2008 through November 2009, some of which will be 14-day cruises, with departures from Hong Kong and Singapore on itineraries visiting some of the most exciting ports of call in the region. Meanwhile, the Costa Classica will be deployed from March 27 through November 7, 2009 on 33 cruises lasting between four and 14 days, with departures out of Singapore, Shanghai, Tianjin and Hong Kong on itineraries offering the finest destinations in several Asian countries.
As is currently the case, the product will be aimed both at the Chinese clientele, who are responding to Costa’s product in ever-increasing numbers, and to international cruisers, including customers from other Asian countries, and Australia, where Far East cruises have a special appeal.
Before being positioned in Asia, the Costa Classica will complete her Mediterranean season on November 30, 2008, setting sail from Savona, Italy for the United Arab Emirates, where she will operate 11 seven-day cruises out of Dubai for the season. She will then depart for Singapore on a 19-day positioning cruise.
The 53,000 gross tonnage Costa Classica, which entered service in 1991, was built by Fincantieri at its Marghera shipyard (Venice) and refurbished in 2001. She is one of the most popular liners in the Costa fleet. The ship measures in at 220 meters in length, offers a total guest capacity of 1,680 and features 1,304 lower berths. She has 659 cabins including 10 suites, 2 swimming pools and 4 Jacuzzis. The art collection of the ship includes masterpieces of the worldwide renowned artists Arnaldo Pomodoro and Emilio Tadini.
The 28,500 gross tonnage Costa Allegra entered service in 1992 and underwent a substantial refit in March 2006 at an investment worth 12 million euros. The ship’s public areas are Italian in design and neoclassical in style. She is known as the “crystal ship” due to her modern, airy architecture and distinctive glass partition astern. The Costa Allegra offers a total guest capacity of 1,000 and features 386 cabins and 13 suites, including 10 with private verandas. Her facilities include three restaurants with Italian, international and Asian specialties, five bars, two pools, a spa, theater, casino, disco and shopping center featuring the best-known Italian designer labels.