The announcement came after the cruise line said it was sending Costa Firenze to South America instead due to the LNG shortage caused by the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Costa Toscana was meant to spend the 2022/23 season in Brazil, but because she runs on LNG fuel, she will be deployed in the Middle East instead, taking over the itineraries previously planned for Costa Firenze.
In a statement, Costa Cruises said the re-deployment of the ships made the most sense following an “operational assessment”.
“With the aim of always making the best holiday options available to our guests as early as possible, we have updated some of the programs for the next winter 2022-2023 season,” Costa Cruises told Cruise Arabia & Africa.
“From this December 2022, to mid-March 2023, our flagship Costa Toscana will be sailing the Emirates, offering 7-day cruises featuring the UAE, Qatar, and Oman while Costa Firenze will be making her debut in South America joining two other Costa ships in the region throughout the winter 2022 until April 2023.”
The LNG-powered Costa Toscana will be deployed in the United Arab Emirates, homeporting in Dubai and sailing an itinerary that features Doha (Qatar), Muscat (Oman) and Abu Dhabi (the capital of the UAE).
“This will give all European customers the opportunity to enjoy the brand-new flagship during the winter with itineraries that can be reached in a few hours’ flight time,” the cruise line added.
Costa Cruises said it is already informing travel agencies and booked guests about the changes, and described the re-deployment of Costa Firenze to South America as a novelty for the Brazilian market.
“We’re offering South American guests the opportunity to enjoy an absolute novelty in the Costa fleet, aboard the stunning Costa Firenze, which entered service only a few months ago,” a spokesperson said.
Costa Toscana is a sister ship to Costa Smeralda, and is the second of Costa Cruises’ Excellence-class ships.
At more than 180,000-gross tons and carrying in excess of 5,000 passengers, they are the largest ships in the fleet, and Costa Toscana will be one of the largest cruise ships ever to homeport in Dubai.