Carnival’s Italian brand Costa Cruises has floated out its new ship, Costa Venezia, which is specifically designed and built to cater to the Chinese market.

Builder of the ship Fincantieri was also involved in the floating-out ceremony that took place in Monfalcone, Italy, where the vessel is currently under construction.

Scheduled to enter service by March, Costa Venezia will be designed to offer fine Italian dining, luxury Italian shopping and entertainment options, as well as various Chinese cuisines and Chinese-style karaoke bars.

Costa Group Asia president Mario Zanetti said: “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.”

Costa Venezia’s theatre will draw inspiration from the Venetian ‘La Fenice’ theatre. Its main atrium will be similar to ‘Piazza San Marco’, while the ship’s restaurants will feature the typical architecture of Venetian alleys.

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“Costa Venezia will continue to deliver on Costa Cruise’s authentic Italian experience while also providing a unique vacation experience.”

Costa Venezia will also include original ‘gondolas’, a traditional, flat-bottomed Venetian rowing boat, among other features.

With 135,500t capacity, the 323m-long vessel will accommodate more than 5,100 guests. Costa Venezia will be the biggest Costa Cruises ship operating homeport cruises from China.

Before commencing commercial service in China next year, the vessel will conduct two cruises from the Italian port of Trieste.

Development of Costa Venezia is set to be followed by the launch of its sister ship in 2020, currently being built by Fincantieri at Marghera shipyard.

These two ships will bring the total number of vessels being built by Fincantieri in Italy for Costa Cruises to 14, for a total investment of over €6bn.