Cruise travelers have spoken and cruise lines hear them loud and clear: We want more time in port! Answering the call, Azamara Club Cruises popularized what they coined ‘destination immersion’, a practice that sent shockwaves through an ocean cruise business model hell bent on getting out to sea; where profitable onboard revenue could be generated. Ships in port can’t have casinos open, shops are closed and money is being spent off the ship. Other cruise lines took notice, staying a bit longer in port, if not overnight. Such will be the case with Costa Cruises new flagship, 132,500-ton Costa Diadema, launching 150 days from today.
In the Mediterranean, it made sense to stay overnight at the embarkation port with passengers flying in from all over the world. We got that. So does Costa Cruises. Sailing year-round in the Med, while other cruise lines visit seasonally, Costa lives there.
In a February post titled New Costa Flagship To Debut With Unique, Long Stays In Port, we began the tale of a big ship dipping its toe into waters normally reserved for smaller vessels, that of extended and overnight stays in port and applauded Costa for the thought. Now, Costa Cruises has released more detail about the month-long debut and celebration of their new flagship, one that we believe may set a new standard for big ship ocean cruise lines.
Right On Schedule
Costa Diadema is scheduled for delivery Oct. 30, 2014 and will debut November 7 during a special christening event in Genoa, Italy, the home of Costa Cruises. A change in tradition, the ship’s godmother will be selected from among participants in a worldwide travel agent competition to be held from July to September.
An Expanded Christening, Fit For A Flagship
The christening will go beyond Costa Diadema too, celebrating the city of Genoa and Costa Diadema’s guests, as well as its godmother, who will join an impressive list of accomplished celebrities who have christened other Costa ships, including Italian actress Claudia Cardinale; model, actress and director Maria Grazia Cucinotta; French actress, singer and songwriter Marion Cotillard and model Margareth Madè.
Unique Inaugural Opportunity
Guests on Costa Diadema, fondly called Regina del Mediterraneo (Queen of the Mediterranean), will have an opportunity to book attendance to the ceremony as well as on the preview cruise departing Trieste, Italy, Nov. 1 or the first inaugural cruise departing Savona, Italy, Nov. 8. In addition, consumers can book an invitation to just the inaugural event and spend the night of Nov. 7 onboard.
The Christening Event Extravaganza
The new $745 million flagship, being built at Fincantieri shipyard in Marghera, Italy, will be docked at Ponte dei Mille, Genoa’s historic shipping terminal. Guests onboard can attend the ceremony in the ship’s Emerald Theatre or watch it on big screens at the new Lido Diana Magrodome Pool.
Following the christening, guests will attend an elegant gala dinner prepared by celebrity chefs featuring a special Mediterranean menu, highlighting Costa’s “Made in Italy” theme.
Costa Diadema’s celebrations will continue with dance performances by professional artists, acrobatic shows and music, with colorful masks given to guests to commemorate the event.
The grand finale will be a light show illuminating the sky over Genoa as Costa Diadema says farewell and sets sail for an overnight journey to Savona for its Nov. 8 inaugural cruise departure.
An Extended Event, Fit For A Flagship
Costa Diadema’s debut will last an entire month, including the preview cruise Nov. 1, the christening Nov. 7 in Genoa and a trio of inaugural cruises Nov. 8, 15 and 22.
Regular Scheduled Itineraries
Beginning Nov. 29 and for the rest of the 2014-15 winter season and through the 2015 summer season Costa Diadema will depart Savona on seven-night cruises in the western Mediterranean, calling weekly at Marseille, France; Barcelona and Palma de Mallorca, Spain; and Naples and La Spezia, Italy.