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Cruise News => Press Releases => Costa Cruises => Topic started by: Phil on April 14, 2009, 01:17:34 PM

Title: COSTA CRUISES: PAST AND PRESENT
Post by: Phil on April 14, 2009, 01:17:34 PM
COSTA CRUISES: PAST AND PRESENT

Boasting a rich Italian history that began over a century ago, Costa Cruises is the fifth largest cruise line in the world and the number one cruise line in Europe. Ranging in size from 30,000 tons to 114,500 tons, the 12 Costa ships provide an ambience that is distinctly Italian – from the progressive architecture and stylish design to the unforgettable cuisine and gracious hospitality. This signature Italian style of cruising brings the Costa experience to life on cruises that span the globe on more than 300 departures throughout the Caribbean, Mediterranean, Northern Europe, South America, Dubai, Indian Ocean, Asia and Transatlantic.

History and Recent Years
The present-day Costa Cruises began in 1854 as a small company trading olive oil and textiles, founded by Giacomo Costa. Nearly 100 years later, the company began operating in the passenger traffic sector, soon becoming the first operator in the world to offer Caribbean cruises. After great growth in the following years, Costa was eventually acquired jointly by Carnival Corporation and Airtours with equal shares in 1997. As a nod to its history, all Costa cruise ships’ smokestacks display their trademark yellow (symbolizing olive oil’s golden hue) with sea blue trim (representing the azure ocean).

Costa has experienced significant growth in recent years under the leadership of current Chairman and CEO of Costa Crociere S.p.A., Pier Luigi Foschi. In 1997, Foschi joined the company and subsequently took over the role of Chairman in the year 2000. He is responsible for all of Carnival Corporation’s brands in continental Europe, which include Costa Cruises, Aida Cruises and Iberocruceros.

Foschi’s first year as Chairman in 2000 also marked the debut of the Costa Atlantica, the company’s flagship and the largest, most innovative ship in Italy at the time. That same year, Carnival Corporation bought Airtours’ 50% interest in the company and acquired full control of Costa Crociere. In April 2004, Costa Crociere became a member of Carnival Corporation & plc, the largest cruise vacation company in the world. During that year, Costa’s growth pattern progressed even stronger when it announced the building of a new 114,500 gross tonnage ship, the Costa Concordia, which would enter into service in July 2006.  In 2005, the company announced the order for two sister ships to the Costa Concordia, the Costa Serena (2007) and Costa Pacifica (2009).

Today
Based in Genoa Italy, with offices in 29 countries, Costa Cruises has become a billion dollar, global company. With 12 ships and five on order, Costa is enjoying incredible growth and a fleet that will be 17-strong by 2012.

The company is highly regarded for its program consistency and itinerary diversification, the latter of which includes new routes in Dubai, China/Far East and the Indian Ocean. The new itineraries in China marked the first time an international tour operator was authorized to operate in the Chinese market and depart from the country’s ports. This year, in 2008, Costa is celebrating 60 years of “Cruising Italian Style.”

Costa’s highly experiential cruises offer a signature Italian style cruise vacation for the contemporary cruise market. Shipboard activities include some of Italy’s favorite pastimes—everything from bocce ball to driving a Grand Prix race car simulator. Friendly staff use phrases with Italian words that have a universal understanding, such as buon giorno and buona sera. When sailing with Costa, the beauty of Italy is truly brought to life.


Costa’s Europe
With more ships and more sailings than anyone else in the region, Costa brings the best of Europe to its guests, who will enjoy a “true European experience” both on and off the ship. North Americans comprise between five to 20% of passengers on these sailings, making the experience a genuine European immersion for those guests.  While English is still widely spoken, the Romance languages are very prominent on these routes. For many, this offers an authentic European element to their vacation. Also attractive to guests on these sailings is Costa’s history of cruising in Europe for 60 years, coupled with its extensive reach throughout the continent.

Costa’s Caribbean
Closer to home, Costa brings “Italy to the tropics” on seven-night sailings out of Ft. Lauderdale from November through April aboard the grand Costa Fortuna and the stunning Costa Mediterranea. From a festive onboard ambience where guests will learn how to play bocce ball by day and dance the tarantella by night, or simply sample the delicious culinary flavors of Italy, bringing  “that’s amore” to their lips without even knowing it…

South America, Dubai and Indian Ocean
Costa is also a market leader in South America, with numerous routes on the continent and an international clientele. These seasonal cruises depart throughout the winter and visit Brazil, Argentina and Uruguay. The first international cruise company to homeport from Dubai, Costa offers the ultimate way to see this exciting international locale as well as surrounding United Arab Emirates countries. In the 2007/2008 winter season, Costa introduced new routes in the Indian Ocean, with stops in Mauritius, the Seychelles, Kenya and Madagascar—offering guests an incredible look into these impressive destinations. Throughout all itineraries, Costa guests are made to feel at home with an unforgettable vacation experience through impeccable and spontaneously friendly service aboard and ashore.

Accolades
Costa Crociere is the first and only shipping company in the world to obtain the BEST 4 certification for the quality of its products and services. The categories include environmental compliance, workplace health and safety standards, as well as assurance and safeguarding of core labor rights.

In March 2005, Costa was the first company in the world to be awarded by RINA with the voluntary “Green Star” notation. The Green Star certified that all of Costa’s vessels are operated in an environmentally responsible manner and help protect the air and sea in the areas where they sail.

Costa’s Ships

Costa’s stylish fleet offers cruise guests a true Italian-style ambience.

Costa Deliziosa—New 92,700-ton ship (2,260 double occupancy capacity) to debut in January 2010. *Sister: Costa Luminosa

Costa Luminosa—New 92,700 ton cruise ship (2,260 double occupancy capacity) to debut in June 2009.To feature many of same innovations found on Costa’s newest ships. Will also feature the largest percentage of balconies on any Costa ship (68% total). *Sister: Costa Deliziosa

Costa Pacifica—Third in the “Concordia” class of ships, which is equivalent to Carnival “Conquest” class. Scheduled to enter service in June 2009.  114,500 tons; 3,000 double occupancy capacity. *Sister: Costa Concordia, Costa Serena, Two Concordia Newbuilds (2011, 2012)

Costa Serena—Sister ship to the Concordia, this ship came into service in Spring 2007. 114,500 tons; 3,000 double occupancy capacity. Boasts all of the same features of the Concordia, including the Samsara Spa  (with 30 additional cabins for a total of 99) and Grand Prix race car driving simulator.  *Sister: Concordia, Pacifica, Two Concordia Newbuilds

Costa Concordia—Entered into service in July 2006 as Costa’s newest flagship, the Costa Concordia boasts innovative features including one of the largest spas at sea and a Grand Prix race car driving simulator. 114,000 tons; 3,000 double occupancy capacity.  *Sister: Serena, Pacifica, Two Concordia New Builds

Costa Magica—Entered into service in 2004, the Costa Magica’s interior design pays homage to the most beautiful and “magical” Italian places. Features largest dance floor at sea (as does Fortuna). 105,000 tons; 2,720 double occupancy capacity. *Sister: Fortuna

Costa Fortuna—Entered into service in 2003, the Costa Fortuna is dedicated to the Italian liners of the past, which inspired the names and style of the public areas. 105,000 tons; 2,720 double occupancy capacity. *Sister: Magica

Costa Mediterranea—Operating since 2003 and the sister ship of the Costa Atlantica, the décor of the Costa Mediterranea is inspired by 17th and 18th century Italian noble palazzi. 86,000 tons, 2,114 double occupancy capacity. *Sister: Atlantica

Costa Atlantica—Entered into service in 2000 and dedicated to Italian art and culture, the Costa Atlantica features over 400 original artworks. 86,000 tons; 2,114 double occupancy capacity. *Sister: Mediterranea

Costa Victoria—Entered into service in 1996, this ship was upgraded in January 2004 with the addition of verandas to 246 staterooms. 76,000 tons; 1,928 double occupancy capacity.

Costa Romantica—Delivered in 1993, the Costa Romantica is rated by the prestigious Fielding’s Cruise Guide among the world’s ten most romantic ships. 53,000 tons; 1,356 double occupancy capacity. *Sister: Classica

Costa Classica—Delivered in 1991 and upgraded in 2001 and 2005, this elegant ship features Italian hospitality, European charm and American comforts. 53,000 tons; 1,308 double occupancy capacity. *Sister: Romantica

Costa Europa—Operating since 2002, the sophisticated Costa Europa reflects the style and atmosphere of continental Europe. She was acquired from Holland America and extensively refurbished. 54,000 tons; 1,494 double occupancy capacity.

Costa Allegra—Entered into service in 1992 and refurbished in 2001 and 2006 (the latter for Far East sailings), this ship is a timeless masterpiece of color, light and water with an impressionable Italian soul. 28,430 tons; 820 double occupancy capacity. *Sister: Marina

Costa Marina—Entered service in 1990 and refurbished in 2002, the Costa Marina features wide windows, skylights and flawless glass atriums reflect her contemporary design. 25,600 tons; 776 double occupancy capacity. *Sister: Allegra