Costa Cruises has replaced Costa Pacifica with Costa Firenze on the schedule for its upcoming 2021 winter cruise season in the Arabian Gulf.
Instead of homeporting Costa Pacifica in Dubai for the winter cruise season, Costa Cruises will instead deploy its newer, larger cruise ship Costa Firenze.
Costa Firenze, designed to the Vista-class design of Costa’s parent company Carnival Corporation, is 135,000-gross tons and carriers more than 3,500 passengers.
She will be a floating city, with 13 restaurants, 7 bars, thousands of cabins designed to reflect the decor of Renaissance Italy and a whole host of amenities and attractions, from a full-scale waterpark on the top deck, to a double-storey Broadway-style theatre, spa, casino and more.
Costa Firenze was meant to sail her maiden voyage in October last year, spending a season in Europe before repositioning to Asia, but due to the pandemic she has not been able to enter revenue service for the cruise line yet.
The ship’s delivery was also delayed by the pandemic, prompting Costa Cruises to push back her planned European and Asian itineraries. As part of that rescheduling, the cruise line has also decided to keep Costa Firenze in Dubai for the winter season on her way to Asia.
The ship will arrive in the region on December 17th, 2021, sailing the first of many 7-night roundtrip cruises from Dubai in the Arabian Gulf, visiting Abu Dhabi, Doha, Muscat and Khasab.
She will depart Dubai in mid-March, 2022, to cruise to Asia, where she will homeport in China.
The replacement of Costa Pacifica with Costa Firenze was announced as part of Costa Cruises’ announcement that it will sponsor the Italy Pavilion at the Expo 2020 Dubai, a world expo event being held in the city from October, 2020 until late 2021.
Costa Cruises has indicated that its Dubai cruise season in 2021/22 aboard Costa Firenze will include shore excursion options specific to the Expo 2020 Dubai, with trips to the Italy Pavilion and wider expo on offer.
Costa Cruises’ decision to upgrade its Dubai deployment with a newler and larger ship will provide a boost to the Middle East cruise sector, which has shown remarkable resilience in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, but is not expected to hit pre-pandemic capacity until next year.