Costa Cruise Tours is the line's North American partnership with leading tour operator Central Holidays. The themed 10-night tours, offered from April through November, include round-trip flights to three Italian cities, first-class hotel accommodations and weeklong Mediterranean cruises.
The packages include activities like exploring Milan, the fashion capital, on the 'Shopping Lovers' tour or Cinque Terre, Pisa and Lucca on the 'Art Lovers' tour. Some vacation packages include chocolate tastings or wine tastings, and on the 'Food Lovers' tour participants visit a market in Orvieto, Italy, to gather ingredients for an Umbrian cooking class.
'Our themed cruise tours are perfect for travelers who have specific interests and want an immersive landside experience followed by an exceptional weeklong cruise,' said Scott Knutson, vp sales and marketing for Costa Cruises North America.
Additional themes include 'Food and Chocolate Lovers,' 'Food and Wine Lovers,' 'Music Lovers' and 'Romantic.'
Depending on the theme, travelers will fly to Venice, Milan or Rome. After three nights on land, including two full-day excursions, they will embark on a western Mediterranean cruise from Savona or Civitavecchia (Rome) on Costa Diadema, Costa Fascinosa or Costa Pacifica, or an eastern Mediterranean cruise from Venice on Costa Deliziosa.
Travelers flying to Venice will spend three nights in the Veneto-area capital. Those who fly to Milan will transfer to a hotel in Piemonte, a region known for its cheeses, truffles, fruit and wine, or Liguria, a crescent-shaped strip of land stretching from the French border on the Mediterranean coastline to the tip of Tuscany. Travelers who fly to Rome will stay at Orvieto or Montepulciano.
The second and third day of each tour features a full-day excursion to a different city or region.
The 'Romantic' program, for example, includes a walking tour of Venice with visits to St. Mark's Basilica and the Doges Palace, a gondola ride on the Grand Canal and motorboat rides to Murano, Torcello and Burano. Participants also will visit Verona, the UNESCO World Heritage Site known as the setting for Shakespeare's 'Romeo and Juliet.'
In addition to wine, Asti Spumante and chocolate tastings or authentic cooking classes—depending on the itinerary—all tours include four meals, three buffet breakfasts and one lunch and all transfers.