A Taste Of Italy For Japan’s Cruisers

Sushi, meet pizza. Saki, meet cappuccino. Geisha, meet Sophia.

That’s the short way of saying Japan is going to get a taste of Italy, courtesy of Costa Cruises. This 67-year-old cruise line is dedicated to being Italian, even when its ships are as far away as northern Asia, and to that end Costa will operate 10 six-night cruises in Japan next year.

The Costa Victoria, by then 20 years old, has been dressed up to look like an energetic kid. An $18-million refurbishing can do that. In fact, when she’s cruising from Maizuru, Kanazawa and Fukuoka next summer, the kids (13 and under) on board will be there free of charge.

The Victoria is known to Japanese cruisers, but only as a visitor, making port stops from China. Now she will have itineraries that focus on short family retreats, because her time in CostaJapan is during summer breaks and holidays — peak travel time. And while the itineraries will be around Japan, but for a quick trip to South Korea (Pusan), the ship will be all Italian.

That’s the Costa way.

The ship, like its 13 Costa siblings, is designed for Italians, or people who wish they were, or want to see what it would be like to be Italian. That means the elegant (some might say) loud colors, the cuisine (oops, a French word), the wine, the gregarious nature and always-smiling faces of the crew, and the…well, the Italian way.

You don’t have to drink Chianti and have spumoni for dessert, but it might help.

More than 60 per cent of the Italian people who cruise do so on Costa ships, so you know everything has to be “the Italian way.” Other Europeans must like it because they make up another 30 per cent of the Costa clientele. North Americans like a little of Italy on the waters, because three Costa ships are now in the Caribbean.

About the only thing that’s not Italian on Costa ships is the language. It’s English. Well, with a little Italian on the side.

In the news…

• It’s official: ‘Margaritaville At Sea’ will have a-la-carte menus
• Def Leppard to headline 4-night cruise from Miami on MSC Divina
• Grand Princess loses power after small engine-room fire near Hawaii

Today at portsandbows.comUn-Cruise Adventures time

Costa Deliziosa
10 nights
January 16, 2016
Fort Lauderdale (return): Freeport, Amber Cove, Ocho Rios, Grand Cayman, Roatan, Cozumel
Inside: $699
Cost per day: $82

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