Costa Atlantica’s global voyage will be the first around-the-world cruise with solely Chinese guests once the trip is completed late in May.
Costa Cruises, which is owned by Carnival Corporation and entered the Chinese market in 2006, was the first cruise company to offer home-port cruises in China. The company currently has a fleet of three ships, the Costa Victoria, Costa Serena, and Costa Atlantica, which are all based in China home-ports. The Costa Atlantica has been based in China since 2013.
Because the 85,700 ton Costa Atlantica first entered service in 2000, a $20.4 million renovation was undertaken in January 2015 to prepare it for the voyage, reports Travel Agent Central. Duty-free shops were expanded and upgraded to house luxury brands, and the public areas and cabins were renovated. Forty-eight of the new cabins were tailored specifically to Chinese travelers. Costa Atlantica was the first western cruise ship renovated at a Chinese ship yard.
The 86-day journey, which began on March 1st in Shanghai, docked in New York City on April 14th for a three-day stay, marking the first time a cruise with all-Chinese guests has visited the United States.
“Costa Atlantica’s arrival in New York carrying only Chinese guests marks a milestone for inbound Asia tourism for the United States and for Carnival Corporation,” said Carnival Corporation president and CEO Arnold Donald. “We have made significant investments in China’s cruise market, which will one day be the largest in the world.”
Chinese tourism to the United States will reach 3.1 million visitors by 2019, up from the 2.3 million visitors in 2014, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce.
Costa Atlantica will visit 7 ports of call in the United States in total. The ship visited Miami on April 19 and will be in Los Angeles from May 3-5, San Fransisco on May 6, Hilo, Hawaii on May 11, Kahului on May 12, and finally, Honolulu on May 13th before the return trip to China.
image credit: costa