Costa Serena has become the latest cruise ship to dock in Dubai as she awaits her cruise restart in Asia, joining fleet mates Costa Venezia and Costa Atlantica in Port Rashid.
Costa Serena docked Thursday in Dubai, joining two other Costa cruise ships that are waiting out the last of the cruise shutdown in the Middle East’s primary cruise port.
Costa Serena, a Concordia-class cruise ship, is scheduled to resume cruises this coming September out of Japan.
She sailed from Klang in Malaysia last week, arriving in Dubai for reprovisioning and to board crew for her cruise resumption, according to officials familiar with the ship’s plans.
Costa Venezia and Costa Atlantica are also docked in Port Rashid. Both ships are due to resume cruises out of China later this year.
Dubai has become a popular holding port in recent weeks, with AIDA Cruises having used the new Dubai Harbour Cruise Terminal for two of its ships last month, while Carnival Cruise Line docked two ships at the same port this month.
Carnival Spirit has since departed, while Carnival Splendor remains alongside.
Both ships are waiting to resume cruises from Australia, although unlike Costa’s Asia plans, those cruises don’t yet have any scheduled resumption date due to Australia’s ongoing COVID-19 concerns.
The Australian government is one of the few major cruise markets yet to reopen, or provide a timeline for the reopening, of the domestic cruise market.
While Costa Serena and Costa Venezia are both part of the Costa Cruises fleet, Costa Atlantica is technically not, although she retains her Costa branding and name designation.
The ship was sold to CSSC Carnival Cruise Shipping in late 2019. CSSC Carnival Cruise Shipping is a joint venture between the Chinese conglomerate CSSC and Carnival Corporation, which owns Costa Cruises and eight other cruise brands.
The new joint venture plans to operate cruise ships in China for the rapidly growing domestic cruise market.CSSC Carnival will begin operations with two ships purchased from Costa Cruises, Costa Atlantica in 2021 and Costa Mediterranea in 2021 or 2022.
A further four cruise ships are intended to be built locally in China and are scheduled to enter service between 2023 and 2028.