Fincantieri's Monfalcone shipyard handed over Costa Venezia - built specially for Chinese guests - to Costa Cruises, the Italian brand of Carnival Corporation, the world's largest cruise company.
The handover took place yesterday in the presence of Italy's Deputy Prime Minister and Interior Minister Matteo Salvini and Deputy Minister of Infrastructure and Transport Edoardo Rixi, as well as Carnival Corp. & plc and Costa Group officials.
With a gross tonnage of 135,500 tonnes, the 323-meter-long Costa Venezia offers 2,116 cabins for a total of 5,260 passengers and will be the largest among Costa's fleet in China.
The ship is part of an expansion plan that includes 7 new ships arriving for the Costa Group by 2023, with an investment of over 6 billion euros.
After arrival at its homeport in Shanghai on May 18, Costa Venezia will join the other three Costa cruise ships serving the Chinese market (Costa Atlantica, Costa Serena and Costa Romantica) and complete a full-year operation in Asia, according to Costa Cruises.
Michael Thamm, Group CEO Costa Group and Carnival Asia, said: “Costa Venezia will help us to further develop the cruise market in China, which has a great unexplored potential. Suffice to say that, currently, 2.5 million Chinese people a year choose to go on a cruise vacation, which is less than 2% of the total number of Chinese people who travel abroad.
"Moreover, Costa Venezia further strengthens Costa's bond with Italy: it is a ship built in Italy, by an Italian shipyard, which flies the Italian flag and which will make Chinese guests experience unforgettable Italian experiences." he added.
Giuseppe Bono, CEO of Fincantieri, said: “For us “Costa Venezia” is the emblem of what we are able to do and where we intend to arrive, but she is also the product of the historical partnership with Carnival Corporation and Costa Crociere, which enhances the tradition of Italian manufacturing and know-how, projecting them towards other borders”.
"As the first ship built specifically for the Chinese market, Costa Venezia marks the start of a new era, not only for Costa and Fincantieri but also for the Chinese cruise industry as a whole", says Mario Zanetti, President of Costa Group Asia.
On Costa Venezia, Chinese guests will experience the uniqueness of Venetian and Italian culture.