Skip to site content
The Group Travel Leader Small Market Meetings Going on Faith

Cruise Report: Costa Cruises expands

Courtesy Seabourn Cruise

Costa Cruises has announced the continued expansion and upgrading of its fleet. A new 1,854-cabin ship — its largest to date — has been ordered from the Fincantieri Shipyards, with delivery planned for October 2014, and the line is investing some $90 million in a major renovation of the 1,697-guest Costa Romantica.

The renovation, which will be done between late October and the end of January, will include two new half-decks and 111 new cabins and private balconies for 120 cabins and suites. The vessel will be renamed Costa neoRomantica.

Readers of Travel and Leisure have ranked Seabourn Cruises the world’s best small-ship cruise Line for the third consecutive year. Seabourn achieved the highest score awarded to any cruise line, regardless of ship size category.

Also, Seabourn has just released “The Cruise Collection,” a new 148-page catalogue detailing 212 luxury voyages being offered aboard its fleet during 2012 and the first quarter of 2013.

Reflecting the special appeal of Hawaii as a cruise destination, Princess Cruises has introduced a choice of more than 50 sailings to the Aloha State during the 2011-‘12 and 2012-‘13 seasons.

From Los Angeles, Golden Princess and Sapphire Princess will offer 14-day roundtrip cruises to the volcanic wonders of the Big Island (Hilo), Honolulu on Oahu, the beaches of Maui (Lahaina) and the Garden Isle of Kauai (Nawiliwili).

In 2012, Star Princess and Grand Princess will begin offering 15-day roundtrip voyages from San Francisco, also calling at all four islands. While at sea, guests will experience a special Aloha Spirit program with Hawaii-themed activities, parties, menu items and learning opportunities.

American Cruise Lines has announced the launching of the Queen of the Mississippi, a brand-new sternwheeler being built for the Mississippi River, nine weeks ahead of schedule on July 17.

When completed, the vessel will reportedly boast staterooms larger than any former Mississippi riverboat, private balconies and the ability to cruise at significantly higher speeds to make more itineraries and longer visits to interesting river towns possible.

A number of seven-, 10- and 14-day cruises are being planned to take guests as far as St. Paul, Minnesota, on the Mississippi and Pittsburgh on the Ohio River, beginning in 2012.

Finally, Uniworld Boutique River Cruises has introduced its most extensive roster of itineraries yet for 2012 — 32 itineraries ranging from eight to 32 days along Europe and Russia’s great waterways.

Two of the company’s newest programs, “Gems of Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands” and “Grand Treasures of Europe,” will include the famed Floriade, the international horticultural exposition presented only once every 10 years.

Also in 2012, Uniworld will completely remodel three of its ships, the River Countess, the River Duchess and the River Royale.