Costa Cruises' newest ship Costa Firenze has sailed off on 4 July for her maiden cruise. Dedicated to the Florentine Renaissance, Costa Firenze will operate in the Mediterranean until the end of November 2021.
To seal the link with Florence, Costa Cruises President Mario Zanetti and the Mayor of Florence, Dario Nardella, announced a cooperation agreement to promote tourism in the Italian city, starting with Costa's contribution to the restoration of Dante's plaques on the 700th anniversary of Dante Alighieri's death.
There are a total of 33 stone plaques, placed in many places in the city, the result of a historical research project dating to the early 20th century. By following the plaques, which trace a poetic path, citizens and tourists can relive places and historical events in which the great poet was often a protagonist.
The preview of the Costa Firenze on 2 July, in the port of Savona, was also an opportunity for Costa to present its Manifesto for value-driven, sustainable and inclusive tourism: a decalogue summarising the company’s commitment to grow together with the territories visited by its ships.
Costa has pledged to the restoration of Dante's plaques in Florence, as part of plans to promote tourism in the Italian city.
According to the Manifesto, destinations are not considered as a set of tourist attractions, but as communities to build together a model of tourism that generates greater economic and social value, inspiring a new "renaissance".
Costa will initiate a process of sharing with institutions, associations and stakeholders in the cities, regions and countries where the company is operating to develop a dialogue and a collaboration that follows the principles of the Manifesto, starting from the Costa Firenze itinerary.
Costa Firenze's first cruises, starting with the inaugural voyage on 4 July, will allow guests to visit six different Italian destinations in a week's holiday: Savona, Civitavecchia/Rome, Naples, Catania, Palermo and Cagliari, which can be explored in depth with dedicated excursions, with port calls lasting more than 10 hours.
From the end of July to the end of August, the itinerary will also allow guests to rediscover Malta, with a stop in Valletta, and, from September 12, also France (Marseille) and Spain (Barcelona and Ibiza), with departures from Italy.
During the winter of 2021-22, Costa Firenze will be positioned in Dubai to visit the United Arab Emirates, Qatar and Oman. The one-week itinerary includes Abu Dhabi, Doha, Muscat and a multi-day stop in Dubai, with specific packages for visiting Expo Dubai 2020. Costa Cruises is the Gold Sponsor of the Italian Pavilion at Expo Dubai 2020.
Four other ships will join the winter 2021-22 programme. They are Costa Diadema departing 26 September from Savona to Turkey and Greece or Spain and Portugal; and Costa Fascinosa from 23 September also departing Savona to Lisbon and South America. Costa Deliziosa will continue in the Eastern Mediterranean until 8 January, 2022, while Costa Luminosa will sail to the Canary Islands or Israel.
"The debut of Costa Firenze, as well as the restart of the three other Costa ships that have returned to cruising in recent weeks, is an opportunity for us to promote a new model of tourism — collaboration among different public and private entities to enhance the excellence of the territories in a sustainable way," said Mario Zanetti, Costa Cruises’ President.
Costa Firenze is the fourth of seven vessels to be delivered to Costa Group by 2023, including the new 'green' Costa Toscana ship in December 2021.