Chronicle Journal: Finance

Costa Cruises' Samsara Spa Named 'Best Spa' in Cruise Critic Editors' Picks Awards

MIAMI, Nov. 17 /PRNewswire/ -- Costa Cruises' renowned Samsara Spa was named "best spa" in the 2009 Cruise Critic "Editors' Picks" Awards. The awards honor the world's top cruise lines and highlight the best of the best in cruising. The Samsara Spa is featured on all of Costa's newest ships, including the Costa Luminosa, Costa Pacifica, Costa Serena and Costa Concordia. The spa will also be featured on the Costa Deliziosa (January 2010), the Costa Favolosa (summer 2011) and Costa Fascinosa (spring 2012).

Costa's award-winning Samsara Spa concept has garnered numerous industry awards, including a "best spa" accolade from Cruise Critic in 2008. The consumer cruise web site also named it "the most beautiful spa at sea." Other accolades received include a nod as "one of the top five cruise ship spas" by MSNBC.com, "Best Spa Design" from the Travel Weekly Magellan Awards, and "Best Spa Facilities," from Porthole Magazine. Travel Age West Magazine awarded the spa "Editor's Pick" Awards in the categories of "Best Health and Wellness Program," and "Best Overall Spa Facilities on a Cruise Ship."

Extending over two decks and boasting panoramic views of the ocean, the 23,000 square-foot Samsara Spa offers travelers the ultimate wellness experience at sea. Spa amenities include a Thalassotherapy bath, a rock sauna (a hotter version of classic saunas) and a Turkish bath (either traditional or scented with gently-fragrant rosemary, eucalyptus and lavender) a warm thermal bath called a Tepidarium, a solarium, and tea room. VIP treatment suites are also available. An expansive fitness center and wide variety of wellness classes complete the spa's facilities.

For those who wish to fully immerse themselves in the Samsara Spa ambience, exclusive spa cabins and suites (average 100 per ship) provide a veritable extension of the experience at all times with direct access to the spa via elevator and stairs. Guests who reserve these accommodations will have access to exclusive privileges including flat screen televisions, a special set of Elemis bath accessories and a "Welcome Ritual," all included in the cruise price. The "Welcome Ritual" features unlimited access to the spa and its many amenities, two complimentary fitness or meditation classes, a personalized wellness consultation with a spa expert, two treatments, two sessions in the solarium and an invitation to a special spa tea ceremony. In addition, guests who reserve exclusive Samsara Spa accommodations will have access to wellness cuisine in the Ristorante Samsara. This specialty restaurant features spa-friendly cuisine in private surroundings.

Cruise Critic is an online cruise guide offering a comprehensive resource for cruise travelers, from first-time cruisers to avid cruisers. The site features professional reviews and member reviews of over 350 ships, and hosts an active community where travelers share experiences and opinions with fellow cruisers.

Launched in October 1995 by The Independent Traveler, Inc., Cruise Critic was the first consumer cruise site on the Internet. The Independent Traveler, Inc. is a subsidiary of TripAdvisor® LLC, which is an operating company of Expedia.

Costa Cruises is Italy's largest tourism group and Europe's Number One Cruise Line. For more than 60 years its ships have sailed the seas of the world, offering the best in Italian style, hospitality and cuisine and providing dream vacations filled with fun and relaxation. In 2008, 1.2 million guests chose to cruise with Costa, a record for the European cruise industry. The company's 14 fleet members, each with her own distinctive characteristics and unique style, all fly the Italian flag and sail each year to 250 destinations in the Mediterranean, Northern Europe, the Baltic Sea, the Caribbean, South America, the United Arab Emirates, the Far East and the Indian Ocean. Three more new ships are due to enter service by 2012.

Costa Cruises has been certified by RINA (Italian Shipping Register) with the BEST4, an integrated system of voluntary certification of corporate compliance with the highest standards governing social accountability (SA 8000, issued in 2001), environment (UNI EN ISO 14001, 2004), safety (OHSAS 18001, 2007) and quality (UNI EN ISO 9001, 2008). All the ships in the Costa fleet have been assigned RINA's Green Star notation certifying that they are operated in compliance with the highest environmental protection standards. Costa Cruises is an official partner of WWF Italy for the protection of the Mediterranean Sea. In Mediobanca's 2009 survey of over 3,700 Italian enterprises that recorded revenue of at least 50 million Euros the previous fiscal year, Costa Crociere S.p.A. ranks 10(th) in terms of profitability and 65th in terms of sales. In the "Global Reputation Pulse 2009" international study, Costa Cruises ranked first among Italian "service industry" companies. Pulse scores are a measure of corporate reputation of the 600 largest enterprises located in 32 countries worldwide.

Costa Crociere S.p.A. is a member of Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE/LSE: CCL; NYSE: CUK), the world's largest cruise company.

SOURCE Costa Cruises

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