Middle East Cruise News

Costa Cruises makes double call in Dubai as it regroups for China restart

Costa Cruises ships Costa Venezia and Costa Atlantica have arrived in Dubai, docking in Port Rashid at the Dubai Cruise Terminal en-route to China.

Costa Venezia is one of the cruise line’s newest cruise ships and is scheduled to resume cruising from China later in 2021, while Costa Atlantica has been retired from the fleet, as she has been sold to the Carnival-China joint venture CSSC.

Costa Atlantica in Port Rashid, Dubai

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The 135,500 gross ton, 323-meter Costa Venezia was delivered to Costa Cruises in 2019 and cruised via Dubai on her way to China, before being pulled back from the region when the COVID-19 pandemic shut down the global cruise industry in March last year.

The ship is scheduled to begin cruising from Tianjin later this year, but an exact date has not been released by Costa Cruises.

China recently announced health and safety protocols for cruises to nowhere that will let ships operate starting August 1st, but only for China-based cruise lines.

Costa Atlantica, which was sold last year to CSSC, is also in port in Dubai. She had already entered service for CSSC Carnival Cruise Shipping when the pandemic struck.

CSSC is a joint venture between China’s largest shipbuilding company China State Shipbuilding Corporation (CSSC) and the U.S.-based Carnival Corporation.

The 85,861 gross ton, 2,210-passenger ship was one of the oldest in the Costa fleet, having been built in 2000 to the Carnival Cruise Line Spirit-class design (Costa Cruises is owned by Carnival Corporation).

Her sister ship Costa Mediterranea, which previously homeported in Dubai in 2018, is due to join the CSSC fleet, along with several Vista-class ships between now and 2023.

Costa Venezia in Port Rashid, Dubai

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The arrival of the two Costa ships comes just days after the Carnival Cruise Line ships Carnival Spirit and Carnival Splendor docked at the new Dubai Harbour Cruise Terminal, a second cruise port in the city near the Palm Jumeirah Island.

While neither vessel is scheduled to sail passenger cruises from Dubai, Costa Cruises will be homeporting its newest cruise ship Costa Firenze in the city during the coming 2021/22 winter cruise season.

Between December, 2021 and March, 2022, Costa Firenze will cruise in the Arabian Gulf roundtrip from Dubai, visiting Abu Dhabi, Muscat and other ports in the Gulf.

She will be one of five cruise ships due to cruise roundtrip from Dubai for the 2021/22 cruise season, including the new MSC Cruises ship MSC Virtuosa and the smaller MSC Opera, the AIDA Cruises ship AIDAnova (one of the largest ever to cruise from Dubai), and TUI’s ship Mein Schiff 6.

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