Middle East Cruise News

Costa Venezia pulled out of China, will cruise from Istanbul instead

Istanbul is already benefitting from the redevelopment of its Galataport cruise terminal, with Costa Cruises announcing new Turkey itineraries just days after the completion of the project was announced.

Costa Cruises has confirmed it will be redeploying its new Costa Venezia cruise ship from China to Turkey for the 2022 summer cruise season, sailing from Istanbul from May to November.

Costa Venezia will cruise roundtrip from Istanbul next year.

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Costa Venezia was launched in 2019 and is based on the Vista-class designed by parent company Carnival Corporation. She cruised from Dubai in 2019 on her way to China, and has spent part of the COVID-19 shut down in warm lay-up in Port Rashid.

Costa Toscana is the latest cruise ship in the Costa fleet, she is based on Carnival Corporation’s Excellence-class and will be the second LNG-powered cruise ship in the Costa fleet after Costa Smeralda.

Costa Toscana will be delivered on time, but will enter service in March next year instead of December, 2021.

Costa Toscana will be delivered as scheduled in December, 2021, but won’t enter service until March 5th, 2022. Her itinerary will remain unchanged, however, with week-long cruises in the Western Mediterranean visiting Savona, Marseille, Barcelona, Valencia, Palermo, Civitavecchia/Rome.

Costa Toscana cruises originally scheduled from December 18, 2021 until early March 2022 will instead be operated by Costa Luminosa, which will therefore cancel its program of long winter cruises in the Mediterranean due to the restrictions currently in place in Israel.

Costa Venezia will homeport in Istanbul next year instead of China.

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Costa Venezia meanwhile will soon depart Dubai, re-entering service in Istanbul with cruises from the new Galataport in May next year.

These roundtrip Istanbul cruises will feature three different itineraries, all with embarkation and disembarkation in Istanbul from May 1st to November 13th, 2022. The ship will sail two one-week itineraries dedicated to Turkey and Greece, alternating with each other, which can also be combined into a single 15-day voyage.

The first itinerary includes a two-day, one-night stopover in Istanbul, the Turkish destinations of Izmir and Bodrum, the island of Mykonos and Athens in Greece.

The second itinerary includes two two-day, one-night stops in Istanbul and Kusadasi, Turkey, before heading out to explore Rhodes and Heraklion, Greece.

Istanbul’s new Galataport will include residential and retail developments

In winter 2022/23, the Costa Venezia will offer a third 12-day itinerary in Turkey, Egypt, Israel and Cyprus, which will visit Istanbul, with a stop of two days and one night, Bodrum, Limassol, Haifa, again with a stop of two days and one night, Alexandria in Egypt and Kusadasi.

“Waiting for the return of cruises to Asia, we have decided to bring the Costa Venezia back to the Mediterranean to offer a truly unique, never-before-seen cruise program, that will only be available with Costa,” said Roberto Alberti, Chief Commercial Officer of Costa Cruises.

“The heart of this new product is Turkey, with Istanbul, one of the most beautiful cities in the world,” he added. “In line with our plan to gradually resume operations, we have also decided to move the entry into service of our new flagship, Costa Toscana, to March 2022.”

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