Middle East Cruise News

Costa Toscana christened in Spain ahead of winter season in Dubai

Costa Cruises has christened its new cruise ship Costa Toscana in Barcelona, Spain during her inaugural summer cruise season in the Mediterranean, and winter deployment to the Arabian Gulf.

The new 185,010-gross ton, 5,200-passenger cruise ship was delivered earlier this year, and has now been officially named in a ceremony attended by Costa Cruises executives and the Spanish singer and actress Chanel, the ship’s godmother.

Spanish television stars Carlos Sobera and Flora Gonzalez hosted an after party at which various Spanish entertainers performed on the ship’s aft Piazza del Campo terraces. The event also included a “Molecule Show” during which a cluster of three hundred helium balloons lifted an acrobat over a trapeze against the Barcelona skyline.

A bottle of champagne is smashed against the ship’s side as part of the traditional naming ceremony.

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While ship’s are traditionally christened, or named, soon after delivery from the shipyard and before their maiden passenger voyage, Costa Cruises was forced to delay the event due to ongoing disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Now, however, the ship has had a bottle of champagne smashed against her bow and, according to tradition, will be able to ward off bad luck.

Her christening voyage from Barcelona to Valencia will feature entertainment by Meduza, the world’s most famous Italian trio of house music producers, and a gala dinner by Spanish chef Ángel León known as the “chef of sea” who has been awarded 3 Michelin stars with his restaurant Aponiente.

With the introduction of Costa Toscana, the Costa Cruises fleet put back into operation following the pandemic now numbers ten ships, with the cruise line reporting growing demand for the summer season in the Mediterranean.

“It is a great thrill to celebrate the christening of our Costa Toscana in Barcelona, a city to which we are particularly attached,” said Mario Zanetti, President of Costa Cruises. “For this occasion, we have organized an event to celebrate the start of a summer that marks the serene resumption of travel and vacations.”

Zanetti added that Costa Cruises anticipates more than 14-million European will take a cruise during the coming 12 months, and said this resurgence of demand was a sign of the cruise industry’s sustainability as a business, while also reflecting the need to make the industry more environmentally sustainable.

“We must take advantage of this upswing to promote a more sustainable tourism that respects the environment and values local communities,” he said. “Our commitment is expressed not only through technologically advanced ships such as the LNG-powered Costa Toscana, but also by supporting innovative projects whose scope goes beyond the tourism sector, such as Chef Ángel León’s project.”

Chef Ángel León’s Restaurant Aponiente has started the cultivation of the Zostera marina in the Bay of Cadiz. The Zostera marina is a plant that helps generate greater marine biodiversity and contributes to mitigating climate change by absorbing and storing large amounts of carbon. It’s seeds are also regarded as a “superfood” with great nutritional properties, which could represent a future solution to the problems of hunger and malnutrition. His research is being partly funded by the Costa Cruises Foundation.

Costa Toscana in port in Barcelona

Costa Toscana features more than 2,600 cabins, 21 restaurants, 19 bars, 4 swimming pools, a theatre, spa, kids’ facilities, and several new to the line features, such as The Archipelago restaurant that Barbieri, Darroze and León have each collaborated on to create three menus composed of five refined dishes, designed to explore the food of the region through which guests are sailing.

Aboard Costa Toscana, there is also an entire restaurant dedicated to families with children. Squok Restaurant is named after the cruise line’s kids club and has been conceived and designed according to their needs.

In the Food LAB, guests will be able to try out their cooking skills under the guidance of Costa Chefs, while standout specialty restaurants include the Pizzeria Pummid’Oro, the Sushino and the Teppanyaki.

When it comes to bars and nightlife, Costa Toscana offers 19, including themed bars in collaboration with major Italian and international partners, such as Caffè Vergnano 1882, the Campari Bar, two Aperol Spritz Bars, the Ferrari Spazio Bollicine, and the new Kartell Cafè and Heineken Star Club & Bistro.

During summer 2022, Costa Toscana will sail week-long itineraries to some of the most beautiful cities and islands of the Western Mediterranean, including Savona, Civitavecchia/Rome, Naples, Ibiza, Valencia, and Marseille.

In November, 2022, she will reposition to the Middle East, sailing week-long roundtrip itineraries out Dubai in the UAE, visiting Abu Dhabi, Sir Bani Yas Island, Doha in Qatar and Muscat in Oman until March, 2023. Costa Toscana will sail from the city’s new Dubai Harbour Cruise Terminal, the exclusive terminal in the Middle East for all brands within the Carnival Corporation group.

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