Chronicle Journal: Finance

La Dolce Vita Around the World: Costa Cruises Unveils New 2010 Voyages to More Than 250 Destinations Aboard 15 Ships

Highlights include 16% Capacity Increase, Newest Ships in Dubai and 240

Eco-Excursions

MIAMI, April 7 /PRNewswire/ -- In 2010, travelers may enjoy a taste of "La Dolce Vita" in more than 250 destinations around the world on 15 ships when sailing with Costa, Europe's Number One Cruise Line. New brochures highlighting Costa's worldwide sailings are now available in the North American market, bringing "Cruising Italian Style" to travelers at incredible early booking values of up to 40% off.

2010 features a capacity increase of 16% from 2009. This includes the addition of the new Costa Deliziosa, which will sail on a maiden voyage from Savona to Dubai, and a second voyage with stops in India and the Maldives. The ship will sail her first season in Dubai thereafter. Her sister ship, the Costa Luminosa, will also visit exclusive locales, with a special sailing to Greenland in the summer. Additionally, Costa will offer 240 eco-excursions with specially guided tours complete with a focus on parks, natural reserves and insight into host countries, highlighting the importance of conservation.

Costa's 2010 North America brochure features worldwide sailings to Europe, Asia, Africa and South America. Voyages to the Caribbean, Transatlantic and Canada/New England will be released in separate brochures. Shorter Europe, Far East, South America and Repositioning cruises are not included in the brochure, but may be accessed on Costa's web site, www.costacruises.com.

Europe: 14 Ships, the Most 7-Night Sailings

Costa offers the biggest and best of Europe, and with good reason. 14 of its 15 ships will sail the region at one point throughout the year with more 7-night and year-round sailings available than any other cruise line. As Europe's Number One Cruise Line, Costa knows the continent inside and out and boasts more than 60 years of history sailing the region.

In 2010, Costa's Eastern Mediterranean routes will feature the new Costa Pacifica sailing from Civitavecchia on 11-night cruises to Greece, Egypt and Israel in the winter. This return to Israel will also feature routes aboard the Costa Mediterranea, which will sail 11-night cruises from Savona to Italy, Greece, Egypt and Israel from June through November and the Costa Europa from Venice on 11-night routes to the same locales from April through October. The new Costa Deliziosa will depart on 10-night voyages from Savona with stops in Egypt, Cyprus and Greece in the fall while popular 7-night sailings from Venice will resume aboard the Costa Serena and Costa Fortuna to Greece, Croatia and Turkey and the Costa Victoria to the Greek Isles and Croatia, all from April through November. New in 2010 -- a return to Europe for the Costa Allegra with 7-night sailings departing from Civitavecchia with stops in Italy and Greece from May through November. The Costa Mediterranea will sail various 11- to 13-night routes from Savona to Egypt, Turkey, Greece and the Black Sea in the summer.

In the Western Mediterranean, the Costa Pacifica and Costa Concordia will set sail from Civitavecchia on popular 7-night routes to Tunisia, Spain, Malta and France from March through November. Exclusive routes from April through November with stops in intimate ports including Monte Carlo, Livorno (Florence), Villefranche, Sardinia and Minorca will be featured on the Costa Marina, with 7- to 8-night departures from Barcelona. 11-night routes from Savona to the Canary Islands will be featured aboard the Costa Luminosa (fall), Costa Serena (winter and spring), Costa Mediterranea (summer and fall), and Costa Marina (14 nights; winter and spring). The Costa Magica will once again feature popular 9-night sailings from Savona to Spain and Portugal in the fall.

Four ships with over 2,700 veranda cabins will sail Northern Europe, providing the perfect vantage point from which travelers may gaze upon the beauty of the Baltics. This includes a new, exclusive 20-night sailing to Greenland aboard the Costa Luminosa, departing from Amsterdam on August 1. The ship will also sail 11- to 13-night routes to the Baltic & Russia and North Cape/Iceland routes from May through August. The Costa Deliziosa and Costa Atlantica will sail on alternating 7-night Baltic & Russia and Fjords itineraries from May through September, allowing travelers to combine the two itineraries on each ship for a spectacular 14-night cruise on top of the world. Rounding out Costa's Northern Europe routes is the Costa Magica, which will sail 11-night cruises to the Baltic & Russia and North Cape as well as 14- and 17-night routes to Spitsbergen and the North Cape from Kiel.

Costa will also once again offer convenient pre-cruise hotel stays in Amsterdam, Barcelona, Copenhagen, Rome and Venice as well as 5- and 6-day guided land tours in Italy from Venice and Rome and 5-day tours from Paris to the French Riviera.

Exotics: Dubai, Indian Ocean, Far East and South America

Costa was the first cruise line to home port from Dubai beginning in 2006 and in 2010 it will feature its best season yet with three ships sailing the region -- the new Costa Deliziosa and Costa Luminosa -- as well as the Costa Europa. The Costa Deliziosa will sail to Dubai on her inaugural 20-night voyage from Savona on February 5. Her second cruise, a 17-night sailing, will set sail on February 25 from Dubai to India and the Maldives before returning for her 7-night Sunday departures from Dubai to the UAE through May. The Costa Luminosa will offer the same 7-night route from Dubai, with departures on Saturdays from December 2009 through April 2010. The Costa Europa will offer new 18-night routes from Savona to Dubai with stops in the Mediterranean, Suez Canal and Red Sea, beginning in November 2009 through March 2010.

2010 will also mark a return to the Indian Ocean, where Costa is the only cruise line to home port from Mauritius. The Costa Romantica will be positioned from there for the first time, offering 14-night sailings to the Seychelles, Kenya and Madagascar from December 2009 through March 2010. The ship will then offer an incredible 21-night positioning cruise to Singapore with stops in the Maldives, India, Thailand and Malaysia.

In the Far East, Costa will feature the Costa Romantica for the first time as well as the Costa Allegra and Costa Classica. The Costa Romantica will sail the region beginning in spring 2010 on 14-night cruises from Singapore visiting Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand and separate routes to Vietnam and Hong Kong. The Costa Allegra will offer similar routes in winter and spring 2010 before positioning to Savona from Bombay on April 18. The Costa Classica will sail from Hong Kong on 14-night routes during the winter to the Philippines, Malaysia, Singapore and Vietnam and in the spring and summer from Shanghai to Korea, Japan (including a new stop Yokohama/Tokyo) and Taiwan.

In winter 2010, the Costa Concordia will be positioned in South America for the first time, sailing 6- and 7-night routes to Brazil from Santos. The Costa Victoria will sail 7-, 8- and 9-night sailings from Buenos Aires to Argentina and Brazil while the Costa Victoria will sail similar 9-night routes from Buenos Aires.

New Eco-Excursions Offered

In 2010, Costa will offer over 1,100 different excursions, including 240 eco-tourism excursions. These eco-excursions will be offered in every region visited by Costa with scenic trips to parks, oases, nature reserves and more. All programs minimize their impact on ecosystems and create economic opportunities for local communities. Some excursions featured include a journey to the Mekong Delta in Ho Chi Minh City that will take guests up the river and to a coconut candy workshop to see how the local specialty is made while a visit to Honningsvag in Finland will allow guests to have a special glimpse at the famous bird colony of Gjesvoer, situated just west of the North Cape. During a trek in Komodo National Park, guests will have the opportunity to see the world famous Komodo dragon in its natural habitat. Shore excursions may be conveniently reserved in advance online after guests purchase their cruise at www.costacruises.com.

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.

Two more new ships -- the Costa Luminosa and Costa Pacifica -- are due for delivery at the end of April and the end of May 2009, and will be christened together in Genoa, Italy on June 5 this year. Three additional ships are on order. 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, 1999) and quality (UNI EN ISO 9001, 2000). All 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 the WWF for the protection of the marine ecoregions of the Mediterranean, the Greater Antilles and Brazil. In Mediobanca's 2008 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 72nd in terms of sales and in 12th place in regards to profitability.

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

SOURCE Costa Cruises

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