Middle East Cruise News

Costa Cruises to homeport largest newest ship Costa Smeralda in Dubai for 2021/22

The flagship of the Costa Cruises fleet, its first-ever LNG-powered ship and the largest built for a European cruise line, Costa Smeralda, will homeport in Dubai for the winter, 2021/22 cruise season.

Costa Smeralda will arrive in the Arabian Gulf at the end of November, 2021 to begin a months-long cruise season sailing roundtrip out of Dubai, with additional homeports in Abu Dhabi and Doha.

Costa Smeralda was delivered to Costa Cruises last year and will be deployed in Dubai next year

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Known as inter-porting, it allows passengers to choose one of the three cities as their homeport for the cruise, boarding and disembarking in the same city, but Dubai is typically the most popular choice.

Costa Smeralda will sail the first of these 7-night roundtrip cruises from Dubai on November 27th, 2021, until March 12th, 2022. On each cruise, she will call in Abu Dhabi, Doha and Muscat, staying overnight in Dubai on the final night of the itinerary.

Costa Smeralda is a sister ship to AIDAnova, the first of the Excellence-class ships to be launched by parent company Carnival Corporation, which is also building the Mardi Gras for its US cruise brand Carnival Cruise Line.

AIDAnova’s sister ship AIDAcosma will join Costa Smeralda in the Arabian Gulf for the 2021/22 cruise season, also sailing roundtrip from Dubai.

At 180,000-gross tons and with a maximum guest capacity of more than 6,500 these will be some of the largest cruise ships ever to homeport in Dubai.

With MSC Cruises’ similarly-sized MSC Virtuosa also homeporting in Dubai for the same season, it will truly mark Dubai’s return to the global cruising scene following the disruption caused by the coronavirus pandemic in 2020.

The Coliseo central atrium aboard Costa Smeralda

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Costa Smeralda is a truly game-changing ship for Costa Cruises, featuring even more on-board amenities and attractions than Costa Diadema, which homeported in Dubai last year.

She has 11 dining venues, 1,800 square feet of shopping, 1,628 balcony cabins, extensive kids facilities, even for those younger than 3, a virtual concert arena, and silent disco and more, all spread over 15 passenger decks.

The fact that she’s powered by LNG is also a big deal, as its the world’s cleanest burning fossil fuel.

It is stored in special tanks onboard the ship and used to generate 100 percent of the energy required for navigation and onboard services, thanks to dual-fuel hybrid engines.

The use of LNG is a major innovation in terms of environmental impact, as it will significantly reduce exhaust gas emissions, in particular sulphur, nitrogen, carbon dioxide and particulate matter.

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