Italian cruise lines battle for marketshare in South America as Costa adds Luminosa

Costa Cruises has announced that it will deploy a third ship in the South American market for the 2020/21 season, just days after MSC Cruises announced it would be sending in its newest and largest ship MSC Grandiosa for the same season.

Like MSC Grandiosa, Costa Luminosa will homeport in Santos, São Paulo, offering roundtrip 7-night cruises to Itajai (Brazil), Buenos Aires (Argentina), and Montevideo (Uruguay). She will join Costa Pacifica and Costa Fascinosa in the region.

Costa Luminosa will boost Costa’s Brazil capacity by more than 30%

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Costa Fascinosa will also homeport in Santos, but will cruise to Buzios, Salvador, Ilheus and Ilha Grande, while Costa Pacific will interport in Montevideo, Buenos Aires and Rio De Janeiro.

After the transatlantic crossing departing Genoa on November 13th, 2020, Costa Pacifica will focus on Argentina, Uruguay, and the southern part of Brazil.

Calls are scheduled at Buenos Aires (Argentina); Ilhabela, Buzios, Rio de Janeiro, and Ilha Grande (Brazil); Montevideo (Uruguay).

The practice of interporting means that a cruise ship treats multiple ports on the itinerary as a turnaround port, allowing passengers to board and disembark the cruise at more than one homeport.

Costa says it is gradually increasing tonnage in the South American market

“The arrival of Costa Luminosa for the 2020/2021 season reflects Costa Cruises’ desire to strategically invest in the South American market, a market with a great potential for growth,” said Dario Rustico, General Manager for Central and South America at Costa Cruises.

“For this reason we want to gradually increase our presence in the region,” he added, hinting that Costa may be sending even more ships to South America in the future.

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Brazil is the largest cruise source market in the region, where MSC Cruises is currently the market leader.

Costa Cruises and MSC both have a proud tradition of opening up emerging markets. In the 1990s MSC Cruises pioneered homeport cruising in South Africa, while in 2006 Costa Cruises was one of the first cruise lines to homeport in Dubai, before the Middle East cruise market had grown to the size it is now.

Costa Luminosa, Pacifica and Fascinosa occupy a similar size range. Luminosa is the ‘smallest’ at 114,000-gross tons, and carrying a maximum of 3,570 passengers, while sister ships Pacifica and Fascinosa are 114,500-gross tons, with a maximum capacity of 3,780 passengers.

All three ships offer at least four dining venues and more than a dozen bars and cafes, as well as a spa and gym, theatre, casino, nightclub, 4D Cinema, Grand Prix racecar simulator, video arcade, and dedicated kids and teens facilities.

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