Italian cruise firm tops 1 million sales

The Italian cruise line Costa Crociere, has set a new record with 1 million passengers having booked a cruise on board its ships in 2007. This is a first for the company, which has never before in its 60-year history had so many passengers in a 12-month period.

“Our one millionth customer is a historic achievement and one that fills us with pride,” said Costa Crociere Chairman & CEO Pier Luigi Foschi. “For us this is a testimony of the fact that 1 million guests have rewarded our passion, the quality and excellence of our work, and the competence and solidity that our company alone possesses, with its 60 years of experience in the cruise business. I would like to thank all our employees, our guests and our partners for making this feat possible. Costa Crociere’s growth plan doesn’t stop here. We have our sights set on ambitious new objectives: we aim to boost the number of our guests by 50% in just 3 years, so as to reach the 1.5 million mark in 2010.”

One million guests is a highly significant statistic for the cruise industry as a whole, which in 2006 clocked up around 12.12 million cruisers worldwide, including 3.4 million Europeans.

In the last 10 years Cotsa Crociere has more than tripled its number of customers, from 350,000 in 1997 to one million reservations recorded this year.

This growth has been supported by a fleet expansion program with the introduction of 11 ships in 11 years (from 2000 to 2010) and an investment worth around 4.5 billion euros. 7 of these vessels were or will be built in Italy by Fincantieri, at a total cost of almost 3.5 billion euros.

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Costa Crociere’s fleet is currently 12 strong; all of the vessels fly the Italian flag, with total passenger capacity of approximately 23,200 in dual occupancy cabins. 3 more ships have been commissioned from Fincantieri. By 2010, when the last of these new buildings is delivered, the Costa fleet will have 15 members and total capacity of around 30,800 passengers in dual occupancy cabins.

Costa Crociere’s growth has also had a significant impact on the tourist industry in the cities where its ships have regular stopovers. In 2007 the Company will make approximately 600 calls in the 10 Italian ports of embarkation included on its itineraries (Savona, Civitavecchia, Naples, Messina, Palermo, Catania, Bari, Ancona, Venice and Trieste), which works out to 2,000,000 passenger movements (about 26% of the cruise traffic in Italy); it is estimated that these cruisers will spend a total of over 100 million euros during the stopovers.

In the last couple of years Costa Crociere has introduced a series of itineraries which now stretch virtually right round the world, from the Americas to Asia: it now markets cruises departing from China, Dubai and Mauritius. Costa Crociere presently has 37 ports of embarkation across the globe and around 250 destinations visited by its ships.
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