Costa Cruises, the Italian brand of Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE/LSE: CCL; NYSE: CUK), the world’s largest leisure travel company, and Italian shipbuilder Fincantieri, one of the largest shipbuilding groups in the world, has celebrated the official float-out ceremony of Costa Venezia – the brand’s first ship designed and built specifically for the China market. The ceremony was held at the shipyard in Monfalcone, Italy, where the ship is being built.
More than just a new addition to Costa Cruises’ existing China-based fleet, the Costa Venezia marks a major step for the company as its first-ever ship built purposely for the Chinese market. Designed with the specific leisure and entertainment preferences of Chinese guests in mind, Costa Venezia will bring to life the passions of Venetian and Italian culture through such spectacles as the Carnival of Venice and the city’s famed gondolas.
Guests will also be able to sample the delights of fine Italian dining, luxury Italian shopping and world-class Italian entertainment while enjoying home comforts such as a range of Chinese cuisines and Chinese-style karaoke bars.
Expected to set sail in March 2019, Costa Venezia will arrive in China next May after a 53-day voyage following in the footsteps of Marco Polo. For the inaugural cruise, Costa Venezia will depart from Trieste in Italy and make its way through the Mediterranean, the Middle East, and southeast and east Asia before arriving at its final home of Shanghai on May 18, 2019. Following this once-in-a-lifetime journey, Costa Venezia will continue treating passengers to unique cruises with an Italian twist throughout east Asia.
As part of today’s float-out ceremony, the new Costa ship officially reached the sea for the first time. The celebration followed the protocol provided by the seafaring tradition for such occasions, by flooding the basin where the ship took shape in recent months, following the cutting of the ribbon by the float-out ceremony’s godmother, an employee of Monfalcone shipyard.
“As our first ship built specifically for the Chinese market, Costa Venezia marks a new era not just for Costa Cruises and Fincantieri but for the Chinese cruise industry as a whole,” said Mario Zanetti, president of Costa Group Asia. “From its initial conception all the way through to today’s float-out ceremony and beyond, everything about Costa Venezia has been designed with the Chinese consumer in mind. Costa Venezia will continue to deliver on Costa Cruise’s authentic Italian experience while also providing a unique vacation experience that will resonate with Chinese guests by being fully tailored to their travel preferences.”
“Today we celebrate a milestone in the construction of Costa Venezia which, together with its sister ship, will strengthen Costa’s commitment in an emerging market,” said Luigi Matarazzo, Fincantieri executive vice president new building – merchant ships business unit. “Thanks to the effort of the Monfalcone shipyard, in a moment of exceptional growth of the cruise industry, we confirm our global leadership in this sector and our long-term relationship with Costa Cruises.”
When it arrives in China in 2019, Costa Venezia will mark the latest step in a long list of innovations from Costa Cruises, the first international cruise brand to begin serving the local Chinese market in 2006. At a length of 323 meters and measuring 135,500 gross tons with a capacity of 5,260 guests, Costa Venezia will be Costa’s largest ship operating homeport cruises from China. It will also be followed by the launch of its sister ship in 2020, which began steel cutting by Fincantieri in Italy earlier this year.
About Costa Group
The Costa Group is the leading cruise company in Europe, headquartered in Genoa, Italy. The 26 ships of the brands Costa Cruises, AIDA Cruises and Costa Asia together have a total capacity of 74,000 beds. The fleet will be further strengthened by seven new vessels by 2023. The company has a global workforce of 27,000 employees working onboard and in its 20 offices in 14 countries.
Costa Cruises is the first international cruise company to operate homeport cruises in the China market since 2006. For more than a decade, Costa Cruises holds the principle of customer-oriented and focuses on innovation and excellence to bring Chinese guests the most creative and high-quality cruise products with the flavor of “Italy at Sea”.
About Carnival Corporation & plc
Carnival Corporation & plc is the world’s largest leisure travel company and among the most profitable and financially strong in the cruise and vacation industries, with a portfolio of 10 dynamic brands that include nine of the world’s leading cruise lines. With operations in North America, Australia, Europe and Asia, its portfolio features Carnival Cruise Line, Princess Cruises, Holland America Line, Seabourn, P&O Cruises (Australia), Costa Cruises, AIDA Cruises, P&O Cruises (UK) and Cunard, as well as Fathom, the corporation’s immersion and enrichment experience brand.
Together, the corporation’s cruise lines operate 103 ships with 234,000 lower berths visiting over 700 ports around the world, with 18 new ships scheduled to be delivered between 2018 and 2023. Carnival Corporation & plc also operates Holland America Princess Alaska Tours, the leading tour company in Alaska and the Canadian Yukon. Traded on both the New York and London Stock Exchanges, Carnival Corporation & plc is the only group in the world to be included in both the S&P 500 and the FTSE 100 indices.
In 2017, Fast Company recognized Carnival Corporation as being among the “Top 10 Most Innovative Companies” in both the design and travel categories. Fast Company specifically recognized Carnival Corporation for its work in developing OceanMedallion™, a high-tech wearable device that enables the world’s first interactive guest experience platform capable of transforming vacation travel into a highly personalized and elevated level of customized service.