The Costa Group has announced that starting in April 2017 its 56,000 ton Costa neoRomantica will be based in Asia year-round.
Costa neoRomantica will be the fifth Costa ship deployed regularly in Asia and operated by the Costa Asia brand.
“The deployment of a fifth Costa ship in Asia in 2017, in addition to the two new fleet members that will be built specially for Costa Asia, will allow us to continue to significantly grow the Asian cruise market in particular China, which is set to become the second largest in the world by the end of the decade,” said Costa Group CEO Michael Thamm.
The Costa neoRomantica is set to arrive in Shanghai on April 10, 2017 after a 23-day positioning cruise departing in March from Port Louis, Mauritius and calling at Port Victoria (Seychelles), Malè (Maldives), Colombo (Sri Lanka), Phuket (Thailand), Singapore, Da Nang (Vietnam) and Hong Kong.
Once in Shanghai, Costa neoRomantica will be dry docked to undergo renewal works that will customize the ship for its new Asian guests. The first cruise dedicated to the local market is scheduled to sail from Shanghai on 24 April, 2017.
Currently there are three Costa ships already cruising in Asia, while a fourth, the Costa Fortuna, will arrive in Shanghai in April 2016. Costa Group also recently announced an order for two new ships for Costa Asia, to be built by Fincantieri in Italy, with delivery in 2019 and 2020.
The Costa Group, part of Carnival Corporation, was the first cruise company to enter the Chinese market back in 2006.