News of the week: MSC Divina restart, Costa Venezia comes to the Mediterranean and AIDAcosma is delayed.

Costa Venezia is returning to the Mediterranean and will offer cruises from/to Istanbul ©Costa Kreuzfahrten

Dear CruiseExperience Community, Last week I was on a well-deserved vacation – this time private, not sponsored and not invited. I was on the MSC Splendida for a whole week, exploring the pearls of the Adriatic Sea and taking the liberty to put the cell phone on the side for once. A reporting follows in the coming weeks& therefore came also no news from the cruise world and summarize these compactly in this blogpost.

MSC Divina is relaunching cruises to the Caribbean from Port Canaveral.

MSC Cruises’ eleventh ship has resumed passenger service. The MSC Divina departed on 16. September 2021 her new homeport of Port Canaveral/Orlando for a 3-night cruise. Destinations for the short trip were Nassau and MSC Cruises’ exclusive private island, Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve in the Bahamas.

The ship follows MSC Meraviglia, which has already been sailing to the Bahamas, Ocean Cay, the Cayman Islands, Jamaica and Mexico from/to Miami since August. Guests from the U.S. now have a choice of 3-, 4- and 7-night itineraries from the two ports of embarkation.

First-ever Turkey cruises with Costa Venezia from Istanbul – Even more Mediterranean: Costa Toscana launches in March 2022.

Costa Venezia is sailing a variety of cruises from Istanbul and the LNG newbuilding Costa Toscana is also departing on Mediterranean cruises.

“In anticipation of the return of cruising in Asia, Costa Cruises has decided to bring Costa Venezia back to the Mediterranean to offer a truly unique, unprecedented cruise program that will only be available from Costa, starting in May 2022,” explains Roberto Alberti, Chief Commercial Officer of Costa Crociere. “The centerpiece of this new product is Turkey with Istanbul, one of the most beautiful cities in the world. In line with our plan to gradually resume operations, we have also decided not to deploy our new flagship Costa Toscana in the Mediterranean until March 2022 as well.”

Costa Venezia’s new Turkey program includes three different itineraries, all of which begin with embarkation and disembarkation in Istanbul. The cruises are designed to include longer stops at ports of call. The guests can enjoy so the respective destinations intensively. These include cities steeped in history, ancient ruins, UNESCO World Heritage sites and beautiful beaches.

From 1. May to 13. November 2022, the Costa Venezia offers two different one-week itineraries along Turkey and Greece, which can also be combined into a two-week, eight-port voyage. The first itinerary includes a two-day stay with an overnight in Istanbul, the beautiful Turkish destinations of Izmir and Bodrum, the island of Mykonos and Athens in Greece. The second itinerary includes two two-day stays with one overnight each in Istanbul and Kusadasi in Turkey before continuing to Rhodes and Heraklion in Greece. In winter 2022/23, Costa Venezia will sail a third 12-day itinerary through Turkey, Egypt, Israel and Cyprus that includes Istanbul (two days and one night), Bodrum, Limassol, Haifa (also two days and one night), Alexandria in Egypt and Kusadasi.

Shore excursions designed for Costa Venezia cruises will allow guests to enjoy special experiences: A private concert in a Roman amphitheater in Ephesus at night, the lights of the Bosphorus at night, an overnight stay in the rock-hewn houses in the lunar landscape of Cappadocia, the discovery of the natural pools of Pamukkale, as well as the Parthenon in Athens, the beaches of Mykonos and Rhodes, as well as Bethlehem and Jerusalem.

The new itineraries of the Costa Venezia, which also Fly& Cruise packages include, can be booked starting in the first half of October.

AIDAcosma will be delivered late and AIDAbella will take over cruises in the United Arab Emirates.

AIDA Cruises will deploy its ship AIDAnova in the Canary Islands, the absolute top destination for guests from German-speaking countries, in winter 2021/2022. AIDAnova will thus take over the voyages of its sister ship AIDAcosma, which is still under construction and will also be powered by liquefied natural gas (LNG). Taking into account AIDAcosma’s current state of completion, more time will be needed to prepare the ship for guest operations. Details on the launch of AIDAcosma will be communicated at a later time.

Even before it goes to the Canary Islands, AIDAnova will come to Hamburg. On 14. December 2021, the kissing ship will moor in the Hanseatic city for the first time at. For a short break during Advent, AIDA Cruises has added two new short trips to Norway starting at 14. respectively. 19. December 2021 launch. From 22. December 2021 starts Christmas and New Year’s Eve voyage from Hamburg to Gran Canaria.

With AIDAbella, AIDA Cruises will put another ship of the fleet into service and thus offer guests voyages in the Orient in winter 2021/2022. AIDAbella will take over the voyages of AIDAnova starting with the voyage “From Mallorca to Dubai” from 6. November 2021. A special highlight in this year’s winter season in the Orient is the World EXPO in Dubai. The guests of AIDAbella are made possible for it an extra-long stay in this fascinating metropolis. In addition to Dubai, the ship will also call at Muscat and Abu Dhabi, as well as Doha and Bahrain on some dates.

Experience the naming ceremony of Le Commandant Charcot live.

The christening of PONANT’s new polar ship, Le Commandant Charcot, will take place on 28. September between 19.00 h and 19.30 a.m. off the coast of Normandy. Live christening can be witnessed from the comfort of your own home. PONANT guests and fans can follow the christening at this link.

AIDA Cruises opens first LEGO store at sea.

On 25. September 2021, the LEGO Store on board AIDAprima was officially opened by Annette Rosendahl, sales director at the LEGO Group, Travel Retail Europe, and Steffi Heinicke, senior vice president Guest Experience AIDA Cruises. On 75 m², not only young but also adult fans of the colorful bricks can now get excited and inspired: From classic LEGO worlds such as LEGO DUPLO® and LEGO City to novelties such as the LEGO Volkswagen T2 Camper Van and the 6.Every childhood dream is fulfilled with the construction of a LEGO Harry Potter TM Hogwarts TM castle with a size of 000 bricks. The official LEGO mascot, a two-meter tall sailor, will support the well-known AIDA Clubbies on board in the future.

“With this cooperation, we are once again underlining our family-friendliness and our commitment to the needs of our guests with a range of timeless products for all generations,” says Heinicke, who is pleased that “with the LEGO Store, we are adding an additional highlight to our world of experiences and shopping for guests young and old, as well as bringing another quality brand on board with the LEGO Group.”

“We are thrilled to be opening our first LEGO Store on a cruise ship on AIDAprima. The LEGO Store offers an immersive brand experience that allows kids and adults to engage with our brand, and we look forward to bringing that experience to AIDA guests”, comments Annette Rosendahl, LEGO Group Sales Director, Travel Retail Europe.

Still until 23. October 2021 starts AIDAprima from Kiel always on Saturdays on seven-day Baltic Sea journeys to Copenhagen, Visby on the island Gotland, as well as to Stockholm. From the age of 30. October 2021 to April 2022 AIDAprima from Hamburg will call at various metropolises in Western Europe.

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