Carnival Corporation’s Italian brand Costa Cruises has received its first ship, Costa Venezia, which has been designed specifically to cater to the Chinese market.
The delivery of Costa Venezia is part of an expansion plan that includes a total of seven ships being delivered to the Costa Group by 2023.
Built by Fincantieri at its Monfalcone shipyard, the 323m-long Costa Venezia has a gross tonnage of 135,500t and a capacity to accommodate more than 5,200 guests.
Carnival Corporation CEO Arnold Donald said: “The delivery of Costa Venezia is a further step in the growth of a strong and sustainable cruise industry in China, which someday we believe will be the largest cruise market in the world.
“The growth of the Chinese cruise industry will continue to open the world to millions of Chinese travellers and bring ever-increasing prosperity to its people.”
On 3 March, Costa Venezia will depart from Trieste and head for Greece and Croatia. It will be back in Trieste on 8 March for the start of its inaugural cruise.
Beginning on 18 May, the ship will be dedicated exclusively to Chinese guests and will offer cruises in Asia departing from Shanghai.
Costa Smeralda will be the next ship to come into service in October.
Powered by liquefied natural gas (LNG), Costa Smeralda has been designed exclusively for the Chinese market. It is currently under construction by Fincantieri in Marghera, with delivery expected next year.
Costa Group Asia president Mario Zanetti said: “As the first ship built specifically for the Chinese market, Costa Venezia marks the start of a new era, not only for Costa Cruises and Fincantieri but also for the Chinese cruise industry as a whole.”