Costa Cruises, Italy’s largest tourism group and Europe’s number one cruise company has now doubled its cruise offering in the Far East. Costa Classica (53,000dwt and 1,680 guests) is the second Costa Cruises ship operating on a permanent basis in the Far East. Costa Classica operates alongside the Costa Allegra (28,400 dwt and 1,000 guests), the ship that began the Italian company’s operations in the area in July 2006. Costa Cruises was in fact the first international cruise company to open the cruise market in Asia and in China, also selling its Italian cruises on local markets. From the start of operations in the Orient to the present, about 100,000 guests have taken cruises with Costa Cruises in Asia, half of them Chinese.
Costa Classica was positioned in Asia after operating in Dubai for the 2008-2009 winter season, offering seven-day cruises in the Arabian Gulf, another worldwide Costa exclusive. Costa Classica’s first cruise in the Far East, a 14-day itinerary, includes calls to Thailand, Vietnam, China and Hong Kong. For 2009, the Costa Classica will set sail from Singapore and from the Chinese ports of Hong Kong, Shanghai and Tianjin, with alternating extended and short cruises.
The longer 14 and 15-day itineraries, preferred by international guests, will include calls to Japan, Taiwan, South Korea, Thailand, China and Vietnam. The shorter four to six-day cruises, more popular with local guests, will call on some of the most coveted destinations in those markets, such as Okinawa (Japan), Kagoshima (Japan), Nagasaki (Japan), *censored*uoka (Japan) and Cheju (South Korea). The various cruises offered by Costa Classica in China will include three between China and Taiwan during April and May 2009, the first cruise linking these two countries. Passengers will include the employees of Amway (China) Co., Limited, one of the leading manufacturing and distributors operating in China.
In the wake of the great success of its Far East cruises, in 2010 Costa Cruises will increase its activities in the area. Starting in March 2010, the Costa Allegra will be replaced by an even bigger ship, Costa Romantica (53,000 dwt and 1,697 guests), to operate alongside the Costa Classica.