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New ship and itinerary for Costa

SmarterTravel

[% 10816 | | Costa %] is on a roll. The Italian cruise line—which is actually owned by Carnival—has been launching ships one after another since 2003, and shows no signs of slowing down. This week, shipbuilders laid the keel for the fleet’s 13th ship, the Costa Luminosa. Costa also announced an itinerary change for the Costa Mediterranea.

The Luminosa will debut in spring 2009 and will feature a new design concept and the highest number of balcony cabins (772 of 1,130 cabins) of any Costa vessel. The ship will, of course, offer all of Costa’s latest onboard innovations, such as the huge Samsara spa with direct-access staterooms, pool deck with retractable dome roof, 18-hole golf simulator, and Grand Prix race car simulator. A sister ship to the Luminosa will launch in 2010, and the Costa Pacifica will join the fleet in 2009.

Also in Costa news, the Costa Mediterranea will not spend winter 2008-2009 sailing alternating eastern and western Caribbean itineraries out of Ft. Lauderdale again. The cruise line says it will transition the ship to “a different key core market,” but doesn’t offer specifics. Could that be business-speak for “we just haven’t decided yet”?

Stay tuned for more news of the Mediterranea’s deployment. In the meantime, if you’d like to book a cruise on one of Costa’s existing ships with a defined itinerary, visit Costa’s website, call 877-88-COSTA (877-882-6782), or contact a travel agent.

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