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Costa Serena Debut Sets New Benchmark to Luxury Cruise

( Asian travelers scale new heights in luxury travel aboard Europe’s largest cruise ship

HONG KONG – May 31, 2007 – Costa Crociere, Europe’s largest cruise liner, provides Asian passengers the best European vacation option with its newly launched flagship - Costa Serena, departing from Venice to Greece, Turkey and Croatia in summer 2007 and from Savona to Canary Islands in winter 2007/2008 .

Costa Crociere delivers the experience of fine European sophistication with furnishings and accommodations inspired by “Classical Mythology” onboard the new Costa Serena. The new ship boasts the ultimate in luxury cruises with grand stateroom accommodations, a fine selection of on-board activities, world class entertainment, a feast of delectable cuisine and hassle-free port-to-port transportation, sure to charm every traveller.

Costa Serena is the largest Costa cruise ship and the largest European cruise liner in terms of capacity: 114,000 gross tonnage, 290 meters in length and accommodation for up to 3780 guests in 1500 cabins. It was christened in Marseilles on May 19.

“Costa Serena is an innovative ship, a showcase of cutting-edge technology that will set Costa even further apart from other tour operators. We’re now nearing the one million mark, which was our set objective for the end of this year: in just 5 months in 2007 we have already clocked up about 880,000 bookings, equaling the entire volume of Guests carried in 2006,” Costa Crociere SpA Group Chairman & CEO Pier Luigi Foschi said.

Costa Crociere foresees continual growth in guest number with the launch of the flagship space - Costa Serena. The industry outlook remains very strong in Asia Pacific with an increased share of guests expected from the region.

Costa Serena was manufactured by Italy-based Fincantieri, Europe’s leading shipbuilding company. Costa Crociere has invested approximately 450 million euros into Costa Serena which offers highly innovative facilities:

- The prestigious 2154-square meter Samsara Spa is one of the largest wellness centers ever built on a cruise ship. The 99 beautiful Samsara Suites have direct access to the Spa. Well-being menus will be provided in the Samsara Restaurant
- 4 swimming pools, 2 of which are astern and amidships fitted with a sliding glass roof, the central pool area being fitted with a giant 18m² movie screen. The 3500-square-meter enclosable facility is the largest pool area on a cruise ship, enabling use in any weather and ensuring ideal cruise holidays even in mid-winter in the Mediterranean
- A totally authentic Grand Prix driving simulator is the most accurate representation of tournament ever
- Menus in the Costa Serena’s “Club Bacco” à la carte restaurant are devised by the Italian culinary innovator Ettore Bocchia, executive chef at the Grand Hotel Villa Serbelloni in Bellagio and a Michelin restaurateur, with culinary delights based on the finest Italian gastronomic tradition with the accent on the use of fresh ingredients of the highest quality

The Costa Serena interiors are designed by the ingenious American architect Joe Farcus. Greek and Roman mythology is the ship’s central theme - complemented by 5990 art works, including 440 originals contributed by 34 international artists including Omar Galliani, Aldo Spoldi and Nicola Salvatore. Installed in the Pantheon Atrium in a stunning visual scene, “L’Olimpo Spettacoloso” (Spectacular Olympus) is a monumental artwork that encompasses 16 “Sculpture Costumes” created by Alberto Nodolini and inspired by Roman Mythology.

Meanwhile, Costa Crociere launched a virtual three-dimensional online community at “Second Life” ( ) and the Costa Serena micro-site ( ). After registration on Second Life, you are able to experience the christening event of Costa Serena and the Italian cruise virtually. Photos, video and additional information about Costa Serena can be found on its dedicated micro- site.

Costa Serena will sail its maiden cruise from Venice on May 26 with an eight-day itinerary to Turkey and Greece. From June through November, the ship will depart from Venice every Sunday on seven-night cruises calling in Bari, Italy; Olympia, Greece; Izmir and Istanbul, Turkey; and Dubrovnik, Croatia. In winter 2007-2008, Serena will offer 10- and 11-night cruises in the Canary Islands.

Costa Serena is the sister ship of Costa Concordia that commenced service in July 2006. The delivery of the Costa Serena brings the Costa fleet to 12, with total capacity of approximately 23,200 berths in dual occupancy cabins.

Costa Crociere entered the Asian market in July 2006 with the Costa Allegra operating round-trip voyages from Shanghai in summer and Hong Kong in winter. This summer Costa Allegra will offer new and attractive itineraries of 3, 4 and 5 days from Shanghai and Tianjin with main destinations to South Korea and Japan. Its consolidated network is meeting the needs for passengers in Asia.

Note for editors:
• Costa Crociere SpA has provided a reference guide of Hong Kong travel agent contact details for your readers:
• Charming Holidays Ltd.: 2542 0220
• Jetour: 2736 6111
• Sightseers: 2850 6168
• Swire Travel Ltd.: 31518887
• Wing on Travel - Cruise Vacation Center: 2926 3838
• The cruise fare is from USD1099 in June and USD 1299 in July.
• For more information, please contact your travel agent or log on to .


Costa Crociere SpA is an Italian cruise company and the market leader in Europe and South America. In 2006 Costa carried a total of 880,000 cruise Guests and this figure is expected to hit the one million mark in 2007. Its fleet, Europe’s largest and most advanced, has a total of 12 ships in service and 3 under construction. By 2010 the Costa fleet will be 15 strong with total Guest capacity of approximately 30,800. All of the vessels fly the Italian flag and are deployed in the Mediterranean, Northern Europe, the Caribbean, South America, the Arabian Gulf, the Far East, Indian Ocean. Costa Crociere has been certified by RINA (Italian Shipping Register) with the BEST4, an integrated system of voluntary certification of corporate compliance with the highest standards governing social accountability (SA 8000, issued in 2001), environment (UNI EN ISO 14001, 2004), safety (OHSAS 18001, 1999) and quality (UNI EN ISO 9001, 2000). Costa Crociere is also an official partner of the WWF for the protection of the marine ecoregions of the Mediterranean, the Greater Antilles and Brazil. Costa Crociere SpA also operates the brand AIDA Cruises, which is the number one cruise company for the German market with 4 ships in service and 3 under construction. Costa Crociere SpA is a subsidiary of Carnival Corporation & plc, the world’s largest cruise operator.

Issued on behalf of Costa Crociere SpA by Edelman
For further information, please contact:
Cactus Yu/ 2837-4732/
Phoebe Ho / 2837-4756 /

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