Costa Cruises was the first international cruise line to homeport in China back in 2006, and is also the first cruise line to build a brand new cruise ship specifically for that market, Costa Venezia, which has been delivered by Italian shipyard Fincantieri.
Costa Cruises was also the first international cruise line to homeport in Dubai back in 2006, and in a sign of Dubai’s growing prominence as a cruise hub, the brand-new cruise ship will be cruising from Dubai to Singapore as part of her repositioning voyage.
Dubai and Singapore are the only two cities chosen as turnaround ports on the repositioning cruise from Trieste in Italy to Asia. Costa Venezia’s 2019 Dubai cruise will depart on March 27th, a 17-night voyage to Singapore, visiting Abu Dhabi, Khor Fakkan, Goa, Cochin, Colombo, Langkawi and Klang along the way.
At 135,000-gross tons, she is a similar size to Costa Diadema, which Costa Cruises is homeporting in Dubai for the coming 2019/2020 winter cruise season, but she is the largest cruise ship the line has ever sent to the Asian market.
“Costa Venezia will help us to further develop the cruise market in China, which has a great unexplored potential,” said Michael Thamm, Group CEO Costa Group and Carnival Asia, adding that the unpenetrated nature of the market was ripe for development.
“Currently, 2.5 million Chinese people a year choose to go on a cruise vacation, which is less than 2 percent of the total number of Chinese people who travel abroad,” he said.
The ship will also be a floating ambassador for the Italian brand abroad, he said. “Costa Venezia further strengthens Costa’s bond with Italy: it is a ship built in Italy, by an Italian shipyard, which flies the Italian flag and which will make Chinese guests experience unforgettable Italian experiences.”
Both Arnold Donald, President & CEO of Carnival Corporation, and Mario Zanetti, President of Costa Group Asia, said that the entry of Costa Venezia into the Chinese market would help support its growth into one of the largest in the world.
“The delivery of Costa Venezia is a further step in the growth of a strong and sustainable cruise industry in China, which someday, we believe will be the largest cruise market in the world,” said Donald.
“From conception to delivery, everything about Costa Venezia has been designed having the Chinese customer in mind. Costa Venezia will continue to offer the authentic Italian experience that is a hallmark of Costa, but with further innovations that have never been seen before and which are designed to meet the needs of the local market even better,” said Zanetti.
Designed on the same platform as Carnival Cruise Line’s new Vista-class cruise ships, Costa Venezia is packed with amenities and at-sea attractions for her 5,260-passengers. There are 15 restaurants and six main bars, and the food offerings include classic Italian dishes, fast food and traditional Chinese and Asian cuisine.
Her 2,116 cabins are in four main categories: inside, oceanview, balcony and suite, with a whole category of cabins that have direct access to the extra-wide promenade deck. Her expansive retail space showcases well-known upmarket brand names and her casino is one of the largest on any cruise ship.
The ship’s showstopping public area is undoubtedly the Venician style Piazza San Marco atrium, named after the gilded city’s St. Mark’s Square. Here there are masquerade balls that channel Venice’s famous Carnevale, and a Golden Party in honour of the colour that symbolizes fortune and wealth in China.
During this party guests have the chance to win presents every ten minutes.
In another nod to the ship’s China-focused design, she will follow in the footsteps of Marco Polo, retracing his famous adventures as she cruises a 53-night voyage from Trieste to Tokyo. The cruise can be booked in its entirety or in one of three legs (Trieste to Dubai, Dubai to Singapore or Singapore to Tokyo).
Costa Venezia will embark on the first of her year-round China cruises on May 18th, 2019.