Costa Cruises to sail first-ever world cruise from China in 2014

Costa Cruises will offer the first-ever round-trip world cruise from China in 2014. Departing Shanghai March 22, Costa Atlantica will sail an 83-day journey that spans five continents and three oceans, and calls at 23 destinations in 16 countries.

The 2,680-guest, 85,700-ton Costa Atlantica will first stop at Vietnam, then take a westerly course to Thailand, Sri Lanka and the Maldives in the Indian Ocean before journeying north to Egypt and Europe for calls at Italy, France, Spain and Portugal. Costa Atlantica will then sail a trans-Atlantic crossing to New York before heading south to Miami, Fla., and Central America, transiting the Panama Canal to enter the Pacific Ocean and continue on to the Hawaiian Islands and Guam, Marianas Islands. Eighty-three days after its departure, Costa Atlantica will return to Shanghai Wusongkou International Cruise Terminal June 13, 2014.

“As a pioneer of the cruise industry in China and the first international cruise line to operate homeport cruises out of Shanghai since 2006, we are always challenging ourselves to bring more innovative holiday options to this market,” said Pier Luigi Foschi, Chairman and CEO of Carnival Asia. “China’s first around-the-world cruise is a perfect example of this and is the lynchpin of our Asia strategy over the next couple of years. It heralds a new milestone in China’s cruise industry.”

Costa Cruises will partner with Shanghai Airline Tours on the world cruise, a division of China Eastern Airlines Corporation Ltd. that engages in touring, travel and transportation.

“With our partners at Shanghai Airlines Tours, we will offer our Chinese guests the chance to explore the world in a way that has never been possible before,” Foschi said.

At a press conference today in Shanghai a contract-signing ceremony between Costa Cruises and Shanghai Airlines Tours was held. Participants included Xu Baoan, deputy director-general of Shanghai Tourism Bureau; Pier Luigi Foschi, chairman and CEO of Carnival Corporation Asia; Buhdy Bok, vice president Pacific Asia and China for Costa Cruises; Dong Bo, marketing director of China Eastern Airlines Corporation Ltd., and Shen Dayi, general manager of Shanghai Airlines Tours.

“We are confident that the partnership between SAT and the world-class Costa Cruises will be a strong one, and we firmly believe that the 83-day, around-the-world cruise in 2014 will be a huge success,” said Shen Dayi of Shanghai Airline Tours.

With the arrival of Costa Atlantica May 3 at Singapore, Costa Cruises now has two cruise ships deployed in Asia. The line has operated the 2,394-guest Costa Victoria year-round from Shanghai since May 2012. With the addition of the 2,680-guest Costa Atlantica, Costa has a combined total guest capacity of 5,074 — a 67 percent increase — serving the Asia region.

From May to June Costa Atlantica will sail three- and four-night cruises to Thailand and Malaysia from Singapore. In June, the ship will homeport at Keelung, Taiwan, for two special five-night cruises to Japan and South Korea. From July until year’s end, Costa Atlantica will sail from Shanghai on four- and five-night cruises to Fukuoka, Cheju, Kagoshima and Kobe, Japan, and Pusan and Incheon, South Korea.

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