GENOA - Costa Cruises is boosting its presence in the Mediterranean from next year, with new itineraries on Costa Fortuna, that include the return to Turkey and Israel.
In addition, the cruise line is reacting to increased demand from the Chinese market by positioning soon-to-launch ship Costa Firenze in Asia earlier than anticipated.
Costa Cruises president Neil Palomba said the line is making the Med 'more than ever our home region'.
Costa's presence in the Mediterranean Sea will be boosted by the arrival of Costa Smeralda and Costa Toscana, both under construction at the Meyer shipyard in Finland.
Both ships will be powered by liquefied natural gas (LNG), minimising environmental impact.
Another addition to the fleet, Costa Firenze, currently under construction at the Fincantieri shipyard in Italy, will be deployed in Asia earlier than originally planned.
Costa Firenze and sister ship Costa Venezia, launched last March, are Costa's first ships specifically designed for the Chinese market.
In order to meet the growing demand from Chinese and Asian guests, after delivery scheduled on Sept. 30, 2020, Costa Firenze will be heading straight to China. This means the ship will no longer be operating on the Italy, France and Spain itineraries previously scheduled for Oct. 2020.
As a result of these changes, in winter 2020/21 Costa Mediterranea will replace Costa Fortuna on itineraries from Singapore to Cambodia, Malaysia and Thailand.
The company is also planning changes to Costa Victoria's programme after Sept. 9, 2020, and to Costa Luminosa's Caribbean programme in winter 2020/21. Alternatives are being offered and Costa is contacting travel agents and guests to tell them the options.