Costa Cruises announced it was to operate turnaround sailings from MaizuruKanazawa and Fukuoka for Japanese travelers in Summer 2016 on the 1996-built Costa Victoria.

Costa will offer its concept of casual family cruising to Japanese guests over a series of ten 6-night itineraries, aiming at giving its guests an immersive experience in Italian culture, from hospitality, to cuisine, art and entertainment. These cruises will also feature Asian touches.

Between July and September, Costa Victoria will call at Fukuoka, Maizuru, Kanazawa, Matsue, and Pusan in South Korea. By focusing on Japan’s peak travel season of July to September, which includes the Obon holidays and school summer breaks, the new itineraries are designed for short family retreats. The line also offers its guests to bring along their children under 13 years of age free of charge.

The itineraries will include visits to iconic attractions such as the Izumo Taisha Grand Shrine, the World Heritage Site of Shirakawa-go, as well as Kurayoshi (known as “Little Kyoto”) and Adachi Museum of Art & Yuushien Japanese Garden. In Pusan, guests will be able to explore Yongdusan Park.

“My team and I are excited to bring our unique ‘Italy at Sea’ vacation and introduce the new concept of causal family cruising to Japanese guests,” said Buhdy Bok, Costa Group Asia President. “With the opening of our new Japan office, we will achieve greater synergies with our travel trade partners, boost awareness of Costa Cruises in Japan and strengthen our leading positioning in Asia.”

Costa opened its Japan office on 17 November.

“We are thrilled to finally set up our own office in Japan,” added Yusuke Itokawa, Costa Group Asia Japan Country Manager. “The Costa Japan office will allow us to serve the people of Japan even better than we do today. We will build greater synergies with our travel agents and other travel and tourism partners, and interact more intimately with the people of Japan.”

In 2013 Costa Cruises invested US$18 million refurbishing the 1996 built Costa Victoria. With its elegant, authentic Italian design elements, the ship is regarded as the star of Costa’s Asia fleet. The décor also earned it the distinction of hosting Asia’s first fashion cruise.