Europe’s number 1 cruising company, Costa Cruises, together with the Consulate General of Italy in Mumbai, welcomed guests onboard the Costa Luminosa, for an evening of celebration of Italian hospitality and entertainment. The Costa Luminosa, which is sailing around the world in 98 days, is currently docked at the Mumbai port as part of its impressive itinerary. The event saw the launch of Festa Italiana 2016 in Mumbai and celebrated the upcoming homeporting of the Costa neoClassica in Mumbai from December 2016.
For the first time, Indians can look forward to embarking on a cruiseliner from Mumbai and going to enchanting destinations within India such as Goa and Cochin and also to the very popular Maldives and Colombo. Costa neoClassica will perform a series of weekly sailings from 16th Dec 2016 – 18th March 2017.
Speaking about the launch, Mr. Buhdy Bok, President of Costa Group Asia said, “We are delighted to bring cruising to Indians at their doorstep. For many travellers, the holiday often starts after some sort of a long journey. Now like never before, Indians will have the opportunity to start holidaying — right from their door-step — from India’s largest metropolis, Mumbai”
Commenting on the home porting of Costa neoClassica in Mumbai Port, Mr. Sanjay Bhatia, Chairman of Mumbai Port said, “It is a proud moment for us to have Costa neoClassica to be homeported at India’s premier Mumbai Port. The Mumbai Port has long been the principal gateway to India, playing a crucial role in sea trade and the development of the national economy, trade & commerce and the prosperity of Mumbai city in particular.”
Cruise Tourism has been termed as one of the most potential and sustainable segments and now with the launch of cruising between Mumbai and the Maldives, Costa Cruises has confirmed its strong interest in India.
Costa neoClassica will be the very first large cruise ship that cruises between Mumbai and the Maldives. This classic cruise ship has a total of 654 cabins (with a capacity for 1700 passengers), including sea view cabins and suites with private balconies. Fully-equipped with a Casino, Theatre, Disco, Ballroom, Grand Bar, it aims to provide plenty in entertainment. The wellness centre is spread across 1,300 sq. m with a gym, treatment rooms, sauna and steam room. It also has an outdoor jogging track, 2 Jacuzzis and 2 swimming pools. For those who would like to go shopping, the cruise ship has a huge duty free shopping centre, and also offers a wide selection of books in the library for those who love to unwind with a book.
Enhancing the cruising experience further is the gastronomy: the food & wine offer is based on Italian regional menus with a choice of dishes representing different regions of Italy and proudly reflecting the country’s rich and unrivalled culinary heritage. In addition to this vast range, guests can also take advantage of tasty vegetarian and vegan dishes. On board Costa neoClassica, guests will also have the chance to taste the real original Neapolitan pizza at Pizzeria “Pummid’oro”: thanks to an agreement with the Università delle Scienze Gastronomiche di Pollenzo, Costa Cruises offers pizza prepared using only sourdough and selected ingredients such as San Marzano DOP tomato. In addition, cruisers will be able to enjoy a variety of Indian cuisine and the restaurants on board are fully equipped to cater to special diet requirements of Indians, which includes Jain food.
Ms. Nalini Gupta, Managing Director, Lotus Destinations (GSA of Costa Cruises India) feels the modern Indian traveller is now seeking a different kind of thrill and cruise holidays are now featuring on the Indian traveler’s ‘must-experience’ list. She further adds, “The fact that Indians can now embark directly from Mumbai, not only makes the process hassle-free and visa-free, but also saves the traveler costs and time.”