Costa Cruises will be returning to India for the upcoming cruise season, sailing a range of two-, three- and five-day cruises from Mumbai to Cochin, Goa and, for the first time ever, Lakshadweep.
Costa Cruises will deploy Costa Serena to India from November, 2023, with the cruise season running until January, 2024. The exclusively domestic itineraries have been designed in collaboration with Costa’s General Sales Agent in India, Lotus Aero Enterprises.
Costa previously used to sail out of Mumbai to the Maldives, but will now be sticking to the Indian coastline, in an apparent response to Cordelia Cruises, the new homegrown Indian cruise line that focuses on domestic ports.
Cordelia also cruises roundtrip from Mumbai and creates direct competition for Costa Cruises, which dominated the Indian cruise market prior to the pandemic. This year’s upcoming cruise season appears to be an attempt by Costa to reclaim that market.
In a statement, Costa Cruises emphasized the large number of Indian crew and staff that work aboard its ships, creating an atmosphere in which guests will have cultural affinity.
“We have a strong and lasting bond with this wonderful country: we have already sailed our ships in India in the past, and many of our onboard colleagues are from India,” said Roberto Alberti, Senior Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer, Costa Cruises. “We select and recruit them through dedicated training schools based right in the country.”
“We are strongly committed to offering our Indian guests a unique holiday experience onboard Costa Serena and we are truly looking forward to starting our operations in November,” he added. “Costa Serena will be the largest cruise ship to operate domestic itineraries in India.”
Lakshadweep is an archipelago off the southwestern coast of India, renowned for its tropical landscape andpristine white sandy beaches. Guests will have the opportunity to go snorkelling in turquoise lagoons and discover its rich marine ecosystem teeming with colorful coral reefs.
Costa Serena is 114,000 gross tons and carries 3,780 passengers. The ship has 13 bars (including a cigar and cognac bar) and five restaurants (two large main dining rooms, a two-deck open buffet, as well as the Samsara and the Club Bacco).
There are four swimming pools and five jacuzzis. The expansive pool deck provides ample space for sunbathing and features poolside bars for refreshing drinks.
The Samsara Spa offers a variety of treatments and therapies for relaxation and rejuvenation. Sports courts are available for friendly competitions, while fitness enthusiasts can make use of the well-equipped gym facilities.
During the evenings, the ship offers various entertainment options. Guests can enjoy performances at the theater, try their luck at the casino, or dance the night away at stylish nightclubs and lounges.