Chronicle Journal: Finance

Costa Cruises Brings La Dolce Vita of Italy to the Tropics Aboard Two Ships in 2009/2010 Caribbean Season

MIAMI, June 16 /PRNewswire/ -- Costa, Europe's Number One Cruise Line, is bringing the love, laughter and la dolce vita of Italy to the tropics aboard two ships once again during its Caribbean 2009/2010 season from Ft. Lauderdale, with voyages available for sale beginning today. Guests may choose from the grand Costa Fortuna and the elegant Costa Atlantica, which is making its much anticipated return to Ft. Lauderdale, complete with exclusive new spa cabins. Both ships will sail alternating Eastern, Western and Southeastern Caribbean routes as well as one sailing to Bermuda aboard the Costa Atlantica.

The Beauty of Italy at Sea aboard the Costa Fortuna

The grand 110,000-ton (2,720 double occupancy) Costa Fortuna will once again return to the Caribbean from December 2009 through March 2010, departing every Sunday on seven-night voyages. Drawing inspiration from the grand Italian liners of yesteryear, the Costa Fortuna combines nostalgia and a refined atmosphere into a marvelous modern framework. Beautiful scale models of historic ships are weaved into the style and design of the ship's various restaurants and other public areas. For a step into the present, guests may enjoy modern amenities including a retractable magrodome over the ship's main pool deck, a state-of-the-art spa and ocean-view fitness center, 11 bars and four restaurants and a theatre expanding over three decks. All elements blend together to perfectly evoke the charm and refinement of yesteryear translated into modern day times.

Exclusive Spa Accommodations Now Available in the Caribbean aboard the Costa Atlantica

In December 2009, the 86,000-ton (2,114 double occupancy) Costa Atlantica will make her much anticipated return to Ft. Lauderdale, sailing seven-night voyages each Saturday and boasting 44 exclusive spa cabins that create a true "vacation within a vacation." Guests who reserve these spa accommodations, appropriately located on Deck "8 1/2" in honor of Federico Fellini, who inspired design elements of the ship, will enjoy a variety of special privileges. These include a personalized wellness consultation, three complimentary treatments, two fitness or meditation classes and complimentary access to the Wellness Restaurant, offering a wide array of spa-friendly cuisine. Spa cabins, available in ocean view, veranda and suite categories, will feature aromatherapy diffusers, special shower and air filters, and a mini bar stocked with healthy food and beverage selections. In addition, guests with these accommodations will be offered priority spa reservation times.

"With an international mix of travelers and our signature European flair, Costa brings a truly cosmopolitan and distinct experience to the tropical waters of the Caribbean" said Maurice M. Zarmati, President and CEO of Costa Cruise Lines-North America. "We're essentially offering the best of Italy to American shores and throughout the Caribbean - it's an experience filled with warm Italian hospitality, delicious cuisine, and everything travelers could wish for from an Italian vacation."

Costa's ports-of-call in the Caribbean include Casa de Campo, Catalina Island, La Romana, Dominican Republic; Cozumel, Mexico; Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands; Grand Turk, Turks & Caicos; Key West, Florida; Ocho Rios, Jamaica; Nassau, Bahamas; Roatan, Honduras; San Juan, Puerto Rico; St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands; St. Maarten, Leeward Islands; King's Wharf and Freeport, Bahamas and Tortola, British Virgin Islands. Early booking fares for seven- night sailings begin at $499 and are cruise only, per person, and based on double occupancy. All fares are subject to change and based on availability.

Travel Agents May Earn Up to 17% Commissions plus Win a Prada Gift Certificate for Booking Groups with Costa

Starting today, travel agents who book and place a deposit on any group by September 30, 2008 will automatically become eligible for a $2,010 gift certificate to Prada, another venerable Italian brand. Booking with Costa is not only simple, but lucrative, with commissions of up to 17%. Additionally, travel agents who graduate from Costa's Online Sales Training Academy (C.O.S.T.A.) will start at a commission base of 3% higher, which means they will need less Amore Points to get to 17%! For complete information on how to book groups with Costa, travel agents may visit www.costalovesgroups.com, contact our group department at (800) 66-COSTA or via email at sales@us.costa.it.

Costa Cruises is Italy and Europe's number one cruise line. For the past 60 years its ships have sailed the world, offering the best in Italian style, hospitality and cuisine and providing dream vacations with the best in fun and relaxation. In 2007 over 1.1 million guests chose to cruise with Costa, a record for the European cruise industry. The company's 12 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.

Five more vessels have been commissioned and will 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, 1996), safety (OHSAS 18001, 1999) and quality (UNI EN ISO 9001, 2000). All Costa's ships have been awarded RINA's voluntary "Green Star" notation based on the highest environmental protection standards. Costa Cruises is also an official partner of the WWF for the protection of the marine ecoregions of the Mediterranean, the Greater Antilles and Brazil.

For reservations or more information, contact a travel agent, call (800) GO-COSTA or visit www.costacruises.com.

Source: Costa Cruises

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