Costa and Chinese officials toast the coin ceremony for Costa Venezia at Seatrade Cruise Asia's kickoff in Shanghai's Baoshan district
A coin ceremony was held for Costa Venezia at Fincantieri's Monfalcone yard. This first Costa Cruises newbuild for the China market is scheduled to enter service in 2019.
A newly minted commemorative coin was placed in the keel for good luck. The event connected Italy and China to mark this milestone, which was attended by government officials, trade partners and senior executives from Costa Cruises and timed to the start of Seatrade Cruise Asia Pacific in Shanghai's Baoshan district today.
The Shanghai event also revealed the vessel's name and all guests were given a coin, the same as the coin placed in the keel.
'Costa Cruises is thrilled to have a new ship that is built to offer the best experience to Chinese consumers,' said Michael Thamm, CEO of Costa Group and Carnival Asia. He added Costa Venezia demonstrates the company's strong commitment and confidence in the world’s fastest growing cruise market.
The 135,500gt ship will have 2,116 passenger cabins and can accommodate a total of 5,260 passengers. The design is inspired by Venice. Chinese travelers will get a multi-sensory 'virtual' trip in Venice, featuring food, art, music and entertainment.
'One night on each cruise will feature a Venice Carnival masked ball which has proved very popular with Costa passengers around the world but this is the first time we have brought the themed evening to Asia,' Thamm told Seatrade Cruise News.
'With the Costa Venezia, Costa Cruises is proud to showcase the allure of one of Italy’s most famous and culturally rich cities and regions to Chinese consumers,' added Mario Zanetti, president of Costa Group Asia.
Costa Venezia is scheduled to depart Triese in March 2019, bound for Shanghai, visiting countries such as Greece, Israel, the United Arab Emirates, Malaysia, Vietnam and Japan, following Marco Polo’s famous journeys between Italy and China. Bookings for this inaugural cruise will be available to Europeans, as well.
With Costa Venezia's arrival, Costa Fortuna, one of the five Costa ships now operating in Asia, will go back to the Mediterranean.
A second ship designed for China, a sister of Costa Venezia, is to be delivered by Fincantieri in 2020.
Costa’s new ships for Asia will be the 13th and 14th built in Italy by Fincantieri for Costa, a total investment worth more than €6bn.