Festivities for Costa Atlantica's 86-day voyage took place at Shanghai's Wusongkou International Cruise Terminal.
'This first world voyage by a cruise ship specially for the Chinese market marks a particular milestone for the Costa group and the cruise industry in the rapid further development of our business in Asia,' Thamm said. 'We will invest further in this and accelerate the development of these important markets for the future with innovative ideas and products,' he added.
Costa Atlantica, whose interior design was inspired by Italian cinema and arts, has been dedicated to Asia and China since May 2013.
The world cruise is due to visit 28 destinations in 18 countries across five continents. Destinations include the Maldives, Athens, Sicily's Catania, Civitavecchia (Rome), Marseille, Barcelona, Lisbon, New York City (three days), Miami, Los Angeles (two days), San Francisco, Maui and Hawaii.
'As a cruise industry leader in the China market, we strive to bring the best holiday options for our valued customers in the region. Our unique packaging for the world cruise will undoubtedly exceed consumer expectations,' predicted Buhdy Bok, president of Costa Asia.
Costa began homeporting ships in China in 2006.