Costa Cruises, which began as a fleet of freighters transporting fabrics and olive oil between Genoa and Sardinia in the mid-
The Costa fleet sails under the "Cruising Italian Style" banner; its international family of ships spans the globe offering cruises of seven days and longer throughout the Caribbean, the Mediterranean, Northern Europe, the Arabian Gulf, Asia, the Indian Ocean and trans-
"Cruising Italian Style" can be interpreted two different ways. Some passengers have disliked Costa because of the extensive smoking aboard their ships, but following Italian government regulations ashore, Costa has severely limited smoking to designated areas in lounges. Dining venues are now smoke-
Alas, Italian stewards, part of the line's heritage, are no more. Cabin and dining room stewards are now as multi-
Costa is easily Europe's most innovative cruise line, with an aggressive building program. In July 2006, the line launched Costa Concordia, which was followed in May 2007 by sister ship Costa Serena. Sister ship Costa Pacifica debuted in June 2009.
In an exciting move, Costa designed a prototype ship that actually is smaller -
In August 2011, Carnival Corp. announced that it had signed an agreement to build a new 132,500-
Costa Cruises, which gained worldwide attention after the tragic capsizing of Costa Concordia in January 2012, offers voyages with port-
The line launched its first passenger ship in 1948, and soon placed an emphasis on its fleet's furnishings and architecture, traits that continue today (indeed, its newest ships feature millions of dollars in original artwork and hand-
The specialty and Samsara restaurants on Costa Serena, Costa Pacifica and Costa Favolosa are home to Michelin-
Dining options for smaller cruisers include a Kids Menu and Beverage Card, and ice cream, Nutella and chocolate evening parties. Investment in the "Club Squok" kids program has helped Costa attract more and more families, particularly in its newer ships. The Costa Kids Program includes arts and crafts, sports tournaments, parties in the evening and two themed dinners per cruise just for kids. Other family friendly features include Italian language lessons, and free babysitting. July and August are the most popular travel months for families with children.
On European itineraries, Costa attracts mostly European passengers from Italy, France, Germany, Spain, Portugal and the U.K.. On an average winter sailing in Europe there are 60 to 80 English-
Costa's ships also appeal to a wide range of ages, from 20-