As the Asian cruise market continues to be recognised as the fastest growing sector in the industry, Costa Cruises has launched the first ever round-the-world cruise departing from and concluding in China. Sailing out of the Chinese city of Wusongkou this previous Sunday (1 March 2015), the Costa Atlantica will undertake an 86-night cruise visiting 28 different destinations in 18 countries across five continents.
Costa Cruises has long understood the potential of the Chinese cruise market, having previously become the first cruise line to homeport ships in China in 2006. The cruise line is currently basing three ships in China with the Costa Victoria and Costa Serena operating out of the country alongside the Costa Atlantica.
Michael Thamm, CEO of Costa Crociere, explained: “The Asia market is of great strategic importance to Costa Cruises, and China in particular has become a vital region for us. This first world cruise voyage is one of the most important steps for Costa to further expand in Asia. This ground-breaking initiative will definitely help us strengthen our Costa brand and further boost the development of more global activities in Asia.”
The round-the-world cruise will feature a series of themed entertainment offerings as well as overnight stays in a number of the port visits. Providing a unique cruising experience for the Asian cruise market, Costa Cruises have moved away from traditional round-the-world cruises which typically sail from Southampton, Sydney or New York.
The cruise will tour a few destinations in China, taking in Shanghai and Hong Kong before moving on to Ho Chi Minh City and Vung Tau in Vietnam and then onto Thailand, Sri Lanka and the Maldives. The second leg of the cruise will navigate the Suez Canal before crossing the Atlantic Ocean to New York. After visiting the Caribbean and cruising through the Panama Canal, the Costa Atlantica will then make its way back to China, via Japan.
Images sourced By Владимир Шеляпин (Own work) via Wikimedia Commons and Flickr Creative Commons. Credits: Ed Coyle