33% growth for Costa Cruises in the Mediterranean

33% growth for Costa Cruises in the Mediterranean

Costa Cruises, the largest Italian travel group and Europe’s no.1 cruise company, reports that in 2011 its fleet will make 2,800 calls in 92 Mediterranean destinations carrying almost 9 million passengers, confirming its undisputed leadership in the region.

The Mediterranean, which will be the focus of attention at Seatrade Cruise Shipping Miami 2011 (March 14-17 2011), enjoys one of the highest growth rates in the global cruise industry and the figures represent a 33% increase for Costa Cruises compared to 2010.

Italian ports will benefit most from the cruise traffic generated by Costa Cruises, with almost 4 million passenger movements, 50% more than last year. Costa’s ships will carry more than one third of the 11 million passengers* expected in Italy’s ports in 2011.

After Italy, the Mediterranean countries expected to see the most Costa passenger movements are Spain and Greece – each one with more than 1 million passenger movements – and France, with more than half a million. Costa’s ships will be calling at a total of 92 Mediterranean ports, including 21 in Italy, 17 in Spain, 11 in Greece and 9 in France.

Costa’s expansion in the Mediterranean in 2011 will be supported by the new flagship Costa Favolosa (114,500 gross tonnage and 3,780 total Guests), which is currently nearing completion and is set to depart on her inaugural cruise from Venice on July 4. Costa Favolosa, the 15th member of the Costa Cruises fleet, will be an example of Italian excellence and, as such, will help celebrate the 150th anniversary of Italian unification. Built at Fincantieri’s Marghera shipyard, her construction has involved the labour of around 3,000 yard workers plus a further 7,000 people employed by contracted suppliers, most of which are Italian firms.

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The Costa Favolosa is part of Costa Group’s 9.6 billion euro fleet expansion program, which started in 2000. After Costa Favolosa, her sister ship Costa Fascinosa is due for delivery in summer 2012, which will make the Costa Cruises fleet 16-strong.

Thanks to the debut of the two new sister ships Costa Favolosa and Costa Fascinosa, Costa Cruises’ growth in the Mediterranean will continue in 2012, with forecasts of around 9.5 million passenger movements and 16 fleet members. Next year Costa’s ships will be calling at 22 destinations in Italy, by virtue of the return of Trieste as one of the Italian Company’s domestic ports of departure.

Costa’s 2012 program was presented on February 15 this year, almost a year ahead of the cruise departure dates, in its 2012 annual brochure:  over 250 destinations and more than 130 different itineraries with comprehensive details about shoreside excursions (there are typically 7 to choose from in every port of call) as well as a vast array of shipboard services and amenities to personalize your holiday – unique, unforgettable cruise vacations in the world’s finest places:  the Mediterranean, Northern Europe, China and the Far East, the United Arab Emirates, Indian Ocean, Red Sea, Caribbean, South America, “Round-the-World” cruise.