22. October 2013 · Comments Off on COSTA LAUNCHES A NEW STYLE OF CRUISING WITH THE COSTA neoCOLLECTION · Categories: ENGLISH CRUISE RELEASES, GENERAL · Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Costa neoRiviera and Costa neoRomantica will offer more leisurely itineraries with greater flexibility

Costa Cruises has announced the beginning of a new style of cruising on board its ships with the advent of the Costa neoCollection. The new slow cruise collection is exclusive to the Italian Company which has always been an industry pioneer, having previously introduced the innovative fly+cruise packages, the Around-the-World voyage and grand cruises, mini-cruises and Mediterranean winter cruise holidays.

The Costa neoCollection is an invitation to make the most of every minute and holiday in a more leisurely way. This new type of cruise experience is tailored to suit individual tastes and let each person go at their own pace, both on board and ashore, making it ideal for couples and groups of friends.

Costa neoRiviera (624 cabins) and Costa neoRomantica (789 cabins) will be sailing to new destinations which are off the beaten path and inaccessible to bigger ships. The itineraries are designed with longer stopovers in each port, often overnight and part of the next day to allow maximum time on shore and the chance to thoroughly explore each place en route. As cruising is not one size fits all, Costa Cruises has introduced a range of made-to-measure options, notably a series of specially devised shoreside excursions for small groups as well as fine gastronomic products based on the authentic taste sensations of the places visited, thanks to a new collaboration between Costa and the Università delle Scienze Gastronomiche in Pollenzo.

The Costa neoCollection debuts on 9 February 2014 from Dubai with a special cruise on Costa neoRiviera, the latest addition to the Costa Cruises fleet. This one-off 62-day voyage of discovery, the Grand African Tour, is a totally innovative circumnavigation of the great continent offering a unique opportunity to combine the sea and the most beautiful Indian Ocean beaches with all the adventure of a safari in South Africa. Costa neoRiviera will also add a new dimension to cruising in spring and summer, sailing on 12-day itineraries to the most attractive destinations in the Mediterranean, away from the hustle and bustle of mass tourism. Starting 1 June 2014 and operating throughout the summer, the neoCollection style will also be present on Costa neoRomantica, with 13 and 15-day premium cruises in Northern Europe, beyond the North Cape or to the finest Baltic cities.

Costa neoRiviera and Costa neoRomantica are welcoming and relaxing ships whose relatively small size makes them ideal for slow cruising as they can sail to smaller ports that are gateways to great get-away-from-it-all destinations like the Amalfi Coast, Corsica and the west coast of Sicily. The shipboard ambience is warm and cosy as is the interior design while the service is even more refined and personalised, with the unhurried pace of the cruise giving guests more time to mingle and share their experiences with others.

The hallmark quality of the Costa neoCollection is present throughout, from the time of booking to the actual slow cruise experience itself. Before leaving, guests can consult a team of experts and personalise their itinerary by booking the shoreside tours that best match their tastes and interests. Once guests are on board, a concierge assists them in the choice of custom-made solutions embracing not only excursions but also a vast array of shipboard and shoreside amenities, such as the newly introduced dinner under the stars, a romantic candlelit outdoor soirée with a gourmet menu.

Costa preserves and highlights local gastronomic traditions based on wholesome ingredients available in the various ports of call. The menus on board comprise regional recipes designed to foster the local culinary and cultural traditions, with the assistance of the Università delle Scienze Gastronomiche in Pollenzo. These gourmet menus are accompanied by a list of hand-picked wines, which can be sampled by the glass. In keeping with the leisurely pace of the neoCollection cruises, guests can dine at any time between 6.30pm and 10.30pm without having to choose a particular sitting.

The slow food approach continues ashore, where food and wine excursions offer local product tastings. The Costa neoCollection shoreside tours are planned down to the last detail and specially designed to soak up the culture, scenery and flavours of each place along the route. So as to enhance the independent tourist feel, each excursion is arranged in small groups of no more than 25 people.

The neoCollection itineraries

The Costa neoCollection kicks off in style with an extraordinary 62-day voyage sailing from Dubai on 9 February 2014. The Grand African Tour on Costa neoRiviera will be an exclusive one-off experience to discover the superb coastline of India and the paradise islands of the Indian Ocean; the Seychelles, the Maldives, Mauritius and Reunion, before moving on to Madagascar, circumnavigating the African continent on a route past Mozambique, South Africa, Namibia, St. Helena, Senegal, Cape Verde, the Canary Islands and Morocco. Highlights include the discovery of the world apart in Madagascar and Maputo, the City of Acacias, with the Iron House and train station both designed by Gustave Eiffel, as well as the metropolises of Mumbai, Cape Town and Dakar, where guests can appreciate an authentic hands-on experience of everyday life in these cities. Iconic and exotic Casablanca is the final stop before heading back to Europe.

This voyage can be purchased as a whole trip from Dubai to Savona or, for those with less time to spend, divided into separate segments from Dubai to Cape Town or Cape Town to Savona.

In spring/summer 2014 the Costa neoCollection will also be changing the way Mediterranean cruising is experienced. Costa neoRiviera will be operating two 12-day cruises that are the embodiment of slow cruising, featuring destinations that are off the beaten track and enabling guests to experience authentic Mediterranean travel.

On the Mediterranean Heart itinerary on Costa neoRiviera, departing Savona from 11 April to 25 May 2014 and from 12 September to 4 October 2014, guests can visit Provence, including the pearls St. Tropez and Cannes, thanks to the stopover in Toulon. The overnight stay in Barcelona takes in the Catalan city’s pulsating nightlife while Porto Empedocle (Sicily) is the gateway for unforgettable tours to the celebrated temples in the Valle dei Templi, the archaeological sites of Segesta and Selinunte, Erice, San Vito Lo Capo and Modica. The next stop is Malta, followed by an entire day visiting the famed Amalfi Coast. Finally, Livorno is ideally placed for excursions to staggeringly beautiful cities that need no introduction, namely Pisa and Florence, the birthplace of the Italian Renaissance.

The 12-day Mediterranean Spirit itinerary, also provided by Costa neoRiviera, will operate from 5 June to 1 September 2014, giving guests the epitome of a Mediterranean summer taking in the loveliest and most historically evocative islands in Mare Nostrum – Corsica, Sardinia, Sicily, Capri, Malta and the Isle of Elba – as well as the Amalfi Coast and the Côte d’Azur. With Savona as her homeport, Costa neoRiviera will head for Toulon (France), Propriano (Corsica), Olbia (Sardinia), Trapani (Sicily), Malta, Capri, Salerno and Portoferraio (Isle of Elba). The range of tours on offer on this cruise is quite extraordinary and includes seaside trips to inimitable gems like the Costa Smeralda, San Vito lo Capo, Positano, Amalfi, Portofino and the island of Favignana.

Contributing to the allure of the Costa neoCollection is one of the summer favorites with lovers of spectacular scenery, Northern Europe. Costa neoRomantica, Costa Cruises’ luxury ship, will be offering 13 to 15-day summer cruises bound for the Baltic cities and the fjords, beyond the North Cape and towards the icy wastelands of the Arctic Ocean.

On 25 June and 2 and 26 August 2014, Costa neoRomantica is scheduled to sail from Amsterdam on the 13-day Northern Capitals itinerary. After stopping at Bornholm (Denmark), Costa neoRomantica will call at Helsinki (Finland) and the splendid, imperial St. Petersburg (Russia), where she will spend two days and one night. Next, Costa’s most elegant fleet member will head for quaint Tallinn (Estonia), Stockholm (Sweden) – where a visit to the old town with its medieval buildings and cobbled alleys is a must – and Visby (Sweden). The last port call is Copenhagen (Denmark), oozing history and tradition, with ancient buildings sitting alongside modern architecture and interior design shops.

Anyone who wants to admire the midnight sun at the northernmost tip of Norway can choose the 13-day Kingdom of Light itinerary, which will depart on Costa neoRomantica on 1 and 13 June, 21 July and 14 August 2014. This is a unique opportunity to visit unforgettable destinations where fjords, waterfalls and thick vegetation are the dominant natural features of the stunning landscape. Costa neoRomantica will leave Amsterdam bound for Norway with a stopover in Hellesylt, and from there to Geiranger en route to what many consider to be Norway’s most beautiful fjord. The next port of call is the historic city of Trondheim followed by the North Cape, continental Europe’s northernmost point, where from May to July the Land of the Midnight Sun offers its most romantic natural spectacle. The cruise then moves on to Tromso, the famous base for many polar expeditions, surrounded by woods, fruit trees and flowers. At the Lofoten Islands, amid peaks overlooking turquoise water and fishing villages, guests can unearth the real essence of natural Arctic splendour. The last calls are at Olden and Bergen, with its typical local wooden houses, former warehouses and little shops.

Lastly, for anyone wishing to experience their shortest ever night and discover the icy kingdom, Costa neoRomantica is offering Beyond North Cape, an exclusive one-off cruise departing from Amsterdam on 7 July 2014. This is an extended panoramic voyage off the Norwegian coast, beyond the Arctic Circle, to the Svalbard Islands.

The ships:

Costa neoRiviera (48,200 gross tonnage and 624 cabins) with her cosy, comfortable, intimate spaces is reminiscent of a large sailing yacht. With 624 staterooms including 94 suites, four panoramic suites and six grand suites – all fitted with private verandas – Costa neoRiviera exudes a charming atmosphere reminiscent of the Italian and French Rivieras. The ship has three restaurants (including one buffet), six bars, two shopping arcades, three swimming pools, including one for children, jacuzzis, a beauty & wellness centre with thalassotherapy, hydrotherapy and massages, fitness centre, show lounge and disco.

Costa neoRiviera, Cruise Ship / Photo © Costa Cruises

Costa neoRiviera, Cruise Ship / Photo © Costa Cruises

Costa neoRomantica (56,000 gross tonnage and 789 cabins) is the jewel in the Costa crown. The ship is modern, stylish and exclusive with a dazzling array of amenities, from the opulent Samsara Spa to four restaurants and a Wine & Cheese bar. Lovers of traditional Italian cuisine will enjoy the ship’s pizzeria, equipped with a genuine wood burning brick oven. Light and airy, the substantial use on board of glass and wood panelling is one of the distinguishing features of the ship’s interior decoration. The different public areas blend into one another in an intriguing interplay of sleek lines and transparency, leaving even more space for the real star of the show on any cruise – the sea.

Costa neoRomantica, Cruise Ship / Photo © Costa Cruises

Costa neoRomantica, Cruise Ship / Photo © Costa Cruises

Information source: Costa Cruises

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