Costa Cruises

History, Review, Itineraries, Ships, Deck Plans, News

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Costa Cruises fleet

Review of Costa Cruises

The Costa cruise line is one of the two right answers to what are the cheapest cruise lines in the world question. One of the best cruise lines for Mediterranean and among the best family lines, the Costa company rules over Europe with its best “Italian Style Cruising” experiences.

Costa Cruises logo

“Costa Crociere” is a British-American owned Italian cruise line based in Genoa, Italy. Costa is one of the main operating companies in the Carnival group, and a member of the exclusive “World’s Leading Cruise Lines Alliance” (WLCLA), which also includes Carnival, Cunard, Holland America, The Yachts of Seabourn, Princess, and Windstar. The line’s headquarters: Costa Cruises, 200 S. Park Road, Suite 200, Hollywood, FL, 33021-8541 USA.

new Costa cruise ship design

The best European line, Costa Cruises is known for its energetic mix of Mediterranean cuisine, festive atmosphere, dynamic entertainment and American comfort. The Costa ships operate budget-priced cruises, and the line has predominantly European clientele – mostly younger couples and singles. Many Americans and Canadians enjoy Costa’s festivity on the Caribbean sailings.

new Costa cruise ship design

Costa Cruise Destinations – Mediterranean (all), Western and Northern Europe, Bermuda (on repositioning), Eastern and Western Caribbean, Hawaii, South America – over 60 different itineraries, with duration from 5 to 17-days.

Costa cruise ship experience

  • Dining: authentic Italian cuisine, prepared by European chefs, midnight buffets, gala dinners, health menu option. Spa suites, permanent room service.
  • Costa ships specials: the 2-level Samsara Spa (6,000 sq.m., with many exotic treatments), a 3-level Theater, a 4D Cinema (hybrid), up to 4 on-board pools (2 with with retractable roofs), a Grand Prix simulator, an 18-hole golf simulator. Every ship has a small chapel, suitable for intimate weddings.
  • Traditional on-board celebration parties: “Benvenuto A Bordo”, “Buon Viaggio” and “Notte Tropical”. Costa’s festive theme nights: the tarantella dancing and pizza dough tossing during the Festa Italiana, playing games of boccie, ice carving, “Roman Bacchanal Parade” and “Roman Toga Party”.
  • “Costa Kids’ Club” – supervised interactive programs, ages 3 to 17. Playstation World center on-board for video game tournaments.
  • Entertainment: European-style casino, bingo, Internet cafe, musical revues, live performances by comedians, acrobats, and mime artists; classical concerts in lounges. Italian language and cooking classes on board. “Via Condotti” boutiques with premier Italian goods.
  • Online booking.

NEW: Since May 2017, Costa Asia-managed cruise vessels (of all Carnival Corporation brands) allow using Alipay payment services onboard. The partnership between Carnival Corporation and Ant Financial Services Group (subsidiary of Alibaba, China's biggest online trading company) enables Chinese cruise passengers on all Carnival Corp ships in Asia to pay for onboard services and products using their Alipay (mobile payment platform) accounts. Among these onboard services and products are shopping, tours/excursions, food and drinks. These expenditures are added to the passenger's cabin folio, then cleared via his/her Alipay account on a nightly basis.

Costa has the youngest cruise fleet in Europe, and operates mainly Italy-flagged ships. Costa cruise ships are of 7 different classes (low to high): Axel Johnson, Classica, Sky, Spirit, Fortuna, Concordia and Vista.

Costa ships belong to the Europe’s youngest fleet of passenger liners. Costa is also the leader among the best Mediterranean “most fun” ship cruising lines. The Costa liners are among the Europe’s best family cruise ships (along with those of MSC) and are specifically designed to provide best family-fun “Italian-Style Cruising” experiences by cheap deals, traditional cuisine and some of the best onboard amenities and activities on big and middle size passenger ships.

  • operator (Costa Cruises Group)
  • owner (Carnival Corp)
  • hallmark (“Cruising Italian Style”)
  • flag (Italy)
  • builder (Fincantieri, Italy).
  • Hybrid Spirit-Vista Class: LUMINOSA, DELIZIOSA
  • Concordia Class (Modified): FAVOLOSA, FASCINOSA
  • Concordia Class: Costa CONCORDIA (sank in 2012), SERENA, PACIFICA
  • Fortuna Class: FORTUNA, MAGICA
  • Sky Class: VICTORIA
  • Classica Class: CLASSICA, ROMANTICA
  • Axel Johnson Class: MARINA, ALLEGRA.

Costa Cruises private island Sir Bani Yas

In June 2016, MSC Cruises announced it had created an exclusive "beach oasis" for vacationers on Abu Dhabi and Dubai cruises from 2016-2017 winter. The 1.5-mile stretch of land on the natural Sir Bani Yas island, off the southwest coast of Abu Dhabi, features shaded cabanas, hundreds of palm trees and over 2,000 sunbeds across 387,500 sq.feet of beaches.

  • Starting from December 2016, MSC Fantasia added the destination, available exclusively to MSC Cruises passengers when the cruise ship calls at the island, to Emirates itineraries. The development is on a smaller isle connected to the main island by wooden boardwalk allowing exclusive access to MSC Cruises' passengers.
  • Other facilities include: food, refreshments, MSC Aurea Spa area with a menu of massages, sports facilities (beach volleyball, tennis), family and kids-dedicated area with parents’ pergola, Bedouin tent offering arts & crafts created by local communities, lounge space with live music and a bar. The MSC Cruises company has been working closely with ecologists and Abu Dhabi Port Authorities for more than 2 years to develop the project and support the ongoing preservation work.
  • The isle is one of the largest wildlife reserves in the region due to decades of conservation work and ecological investment to maintain its biodiversity. The Arabian Wildlife Park on the Sir Bani Yas main island is home to over 13,000 endangered and indigenous animals, as well as millions of plants and trees. The first sailing of the winter season departs on December 3, 2016 and calls at the isle on December 5. Prices started at US$719 per person for a 7-night itinerary.
  • In July 2016, Costa Cruises announced the Sir Bani Yas Island will be added as 1-day stopover (port of call) on UAE Cruises' (season 2016-2017) on the Costa neoRiviera ship. Costa passengers will have access to a private (Costa exclusive) beach with VIP areas with cabanas. Other shore excursion options are jeep safaris in the wildlife park, sea kayaking, diving and snorkelling.

Sir Bani Yas island

Costa cruise ship robots

An innovative AIDA and Costa Cruises program implemented latest cyborg technology fleetwide. Humanoid robots greet and guide passengers upon embarkation. They also assist them throughout the cruise by providing information and tips on dining (restaurants, bars), entertainment (lounges, scheduled events, presentations, promotions) and Costa Cruises shore excursions and tours (offered in ports of call along the Deliziosa cruise ship itinerary).

These robots (named “Pepper”) are able to communicate in 3 different languages (English, German, Italian), to move fluidly and even to interpret human emotions by analyzing voice tones and face expressions.

pepper robot - CruiseMapper

Designed by the companies ALDEBARAN and SoftBank, the Pepper robot was launched in Japan (June 2014) as the world’s first “emotional” robot. The machine's main statistics are:

  • height 120 cm / 4 ft
  • weight 28 kg / 62 pounds
  • 3x wheels (omnidirectional)
  • 17x joints
  • 1x 3D depth sensor
  • 2x HD cameras
  • 4x microphones
  • touch sensors (in its head and hands)
  • a 10-inch (25 cm) touch screen

The new technology was first tested on the AIDAstella ship where Pepper learned to engage with passengers and crew. The first set of robots were introduced on Costa Diadema and AIDAprima in April 2016. By the end of summer 2016, Pepper robots were added on all AIDA and Costa ships.

Itinerary of Costa Cruises

Costa ships sail on more than 60 itineraries, mostly in Europe. Round the World cruise line. The Costa Mediterranean cruises are iconic for the “most Mediterranean line”.

Costa cruise ship design (Diadema, Dream-class)

Dream-class ships

Costa DIADEMA (2014)

Diadema is the largest Costa cruise ship ever built for the line, and the biggest ever passenger vessel built in Italy. After the 2014 Inaugural Cruise, Costa Diadema will be sailing in the Western Mediterranean Sea region on 7-day Med cruises from Rome, Barcelona and Marseille.

Costa Cruise Ships Spirit-Vista Class Specifications: tonnage 92,700 GT, length 294 m, beam 32 m, draft 7 m, decks 12, speed 42 km/h, 1,130 staterooms, capacity 2,828+1,100 passengers+crew. Cost: US 600 million.

Costa DELIZIOSA (2010)

  • 7-n from Dubai to Persian Gulf (winter)
  • 10 and 11-n Mediterranean from Genoa (fall, incl Canary Islands), Eastern Med; and 4-n Western Med (spring)
  • Northern Europe 11-n from Amsterdam (summer)

Costa LUMINOSA (2009)

  • 3 and 4-n Mediterranean from Genoa (fall and spring), 4 and 9-n Western Med
  • Northern Europe: 7-n Baltic from Copenhagen (summer), incl Norway Fjords
  • 7-n from Dubai to the Persian Gulf (winter).

Concordia-class ships

(Modified) Concordia-Class Ships Specifications: tonnage 114,500 GT, length 290 m, beam 32 m, draft 8 m, decks 13, speed 40 km/h, 1,506 staterooms, capacity 3,780+1,100 passengers+crew. Cost: US 670 million.

Costa FASCINOSA (2012) – 4-5-7-day trips in Mediterranean from Venice.

Costa FAVOLOSA (2011) – 7-n Mediterranean from Venice.

Concordia-Class Ships Specifications (Modified Conquest-class): tonnage 114,500 GT, length 290m, beam 36m, draft 8m, decks 14, speed 40 km/h, 1,500 staterooms, capacity 3,780+1,100 passengers+crew.

Costa PACIFICA (2009) – the first recording studio at sea.

  • Northern Europe from Hamburg Germany
  • South America (during winter)

Costa SERENA (2007) – 7-n Mediterranean, Dubai; Costa Serena started year-round deployment from Wusongkou International Cruise Terminal in Shanghai in April 2015.

Fortuna-class ships

Fortuna-Class Ships Specifications (identical to the Carnival Destiny-class): tonnage 105,000 GT, length 271m, beam 37m, draft 8m, decks 13, speed 37 km/h, 1,358 staterooms, capacity 2,720+1,027 passengers+crew.

Costa MAGICA (2004) – Western Med 7-n from Rome (fall and winter)

Costa FORTUNA (2003) – all present and past Costa ships are displayed as models in her Atrium.

  • 9 and 10-n South America from Sao Paulo
  • 5 and 7-n Mediterranean from Venice incl the Adriatic)
  • arrives in Shanghai on April 22, 2016; currently sailing in Asia.

Spirit-Class Ships Specifications: tonnage 86,000 GT, length 292m, beam 32m, draft 8m, decks 12, speed 41 km/h, capacity 2,114+912 passengers+crew. Builder: Kvaerner Masa-Yards, Finland. Panamax form factor (able to traverse the Panama Canal).


  • South America (during winter)

Costa ATLANTICA (2000)

  • 7-n Eastern Med from Venice (late spring), and 10-n Egypt-Greek-Turkey from Genoa (late fall)
  • 7-n Northern Europe from Copenhagen (summer), Scandinavia and Russia, and Norwegian Fjords
  • 5 and 7-n Caribbean from Ft. Lauderdale (spring, fall)
  • currently sailing in Asia.

Sky-class ships

Sky-Class Ships Specifications: tonnage 76,000 GT, length 252m, beam 32m, draft 8m, decks 12, speed 40 km/h, capacity 1,928+766 passengers+crew, builder: Bremer Vulkan, Germany.

Costa VICTORIA (1996) – the first cruise ship with later added balconies.

  • Japan cruises in 2016
  • Asian itineraries from China and Singapore

Classica-Class Ships Specifications: tonnage 53,000 GT, length 220m, beam 31m, draft 8m, decks 11, speed 34 km/h, capacity 1,600+600 passengers+crew, builder: Fincantieri, Italy.

Costa neoROMANTICA (1993)

  • Indian Ocean (during winter leaving from Mauritius)
  • Asia (2017) visiting ports in Japan, Russia, Korea
  • In 2017, neoRomantica became Costa Cruises' 5th ship deployed on the Asian marked - following Costa Victoria (since 2012), Costa Atlantica (since 2013), Costa Serena (since 2015) and Costa Fortuna (since 2016).
  • The ship underwent an USD 11,5 million refit in Shanghai before starting Asian itineraries to ports in Japan (Hakodate, Kanazawa, Maizuru, Niigata, Sakaiminato, Sakata), Russia (Vladivostok) and Korea (Busan).

Costa neoCLASSICA (1991)

  • leaving from Dubai UAE, Indian Ocean (winter 2017 leaving from Mumbai India and Male Maldives)

Mistral-class ships

Costa neoRIVIERA (1999)

  • 6-n round-trip from Dubai
  • 21-n The United Arab Emirates, The Indian Ocean, The Mediterranean

Costa cruise itinerary changes and news

  • On April 29, 2016, Costa Crociere officially announced that the neoClassica ship will be home-ported in Mumbai India for the winter 2016-2017 season. The ship will operate on 7-day one-ways between India and Maldives (Mumbai to Male, and the reverse). Also will be offered 14-day round-trip cruises from India (Mumbai port) combining both one-way itineraries. neoRomantica also sails on Indian Ocean itineraries (leaving from Port Louis, Mauritius) during winter 2016-2017, while the Costa ships Pacifica and Mediterranea will be repositioned to South America.
  • For the summer 2016 season, Costa Cruises offer new shore tours to Moscow (Russia). The unique shore excursion offering is part of the Luminosa ship's 2016 Baltic cruise itinerary program in Northern Europe. The new tour to Moscow is during the ship's overnight port stay in St Petersburg, and includes a total of 8 hours high-speed train travel on the Sapsan railway.
  • Costa Cruises new itineraries in Asia for 2017-2018 winter season include a number of new itineraries to destinations in Malaysia, Cambodia and Thailand (on Costa Victoria) and to Taiwan, South Korea and Japan (on Costa neoRomantica).
  • The first innovation for 2017-2018 winter season is that in 2018 (between January 6 and February 17) 2018 Costa Victoria will be homeported in Singapore, leaving every Saturday to on 2 different 1-week itineraries. They can also be combined into a B2B cruise (2-week long itinerary).
  • The second innovation is Costa neoRomantica's 8-day itineraries in Japan leaving out of Tokyo (between late October 2017 and late January 2018).

Costa Cruises related cruise news