That brings to five the number of Costa ships deployed regularly in Asia and operated by the Costa Asia brand, offering cruises marketed for local travelers.
'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.
Costa neoRomantica will arrive in Shanghai on April 10, 2017, after a 23-day positioning cruise departing on March 18 from Port Louis (Mauritius) and calling at Port Victoria (Seychelles), Malè (Maldives), Colombo (Sri Lanka), Phuket (Thailand), Singapore, Da Nang (Vietnam) and Hong Kong.
The 56,800gt vessel will then be drydocked in Shanghai to undergo a makeover to customize the ship for catering to local sourcing. The first cruise dedicated to the local market is scheduled to sail from Shanghai on April 24, 2017.
Three Costa ships are currently in Asia, while a fourth, Costa Fortuna, will arrive in Shanghai April 22. Costa Serena began year-round deployment from Shanghai Wusongkou International Cruise Terminal in April 2015, joining Costa Atlantica and Costa Victoria to serve the growing North Asia market.
In addition, Costa Group 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 has been deploying ships in China since 2006.