Costa Cruises, the largest Italian travel group and Europe’s premier cruise company, has begun its fifth consecutive season in the Arabian Gulf. From the end of November 2010 through March 2011 the Costa Luminosa and Costa Deliziosa – the top of the range of the Costa fleet – will be offering 7-day cruises to regional destinations. Costa Cruises was the first operator to market regular cruises in this part of the world.

Costa will also offer new excursions in Abu Dhabi in the coming months. Motor racing enthusiasts will love the newly opened “Ferrari World”, the world’s first Ferrari theme park and the largest attraction of its kind. Ferrari’s key principles of stylish elegance, design excellence and technological innovation underpin every aspect of the park. The park offers Ferrari-inspired rides and attractions for visitors of all ages. Highlights include “Formula Rossa”, the fastest roller coaster on the planet, a journey into the heart of a V12 engine, a virtual tour of the historic Maranello factory and the interactive Paddock exhibit. A second new addition to the program of shoreside excursions in Abu Dhabi is a visit to the world’s most cutting-edge Formula 1 circuit, Yas Marina. The Grand Prix driving simulators from the “Costa racing stable” on the Costa Luminosa and Costa Deliziosa are produced from an original GP car with advanced real-time vehicle modeling and realistic sensations replicating the handling of an automobile on famous racing circuits.

Costa’s UAE itinerary includes 2 nights in Dubai, one-day calls in Muscat, Fujairah, Abu Dhabi and Bahrain, with an additional overnight stay in Dubai at the end. The Costa Luminosa departs from Dubai on Mondays until March 14, 2011. Costa Deliziosa, which was inaugurated in Dubai on February 23, 2010, will offer Sunday sailings from December 19, 2010 through to March 27, 2011.

The deployment of these two ships consolidates “Costa Cruises” market leadership in the region. In the 2010/11 winter season Costa expects approximately 150,000 passenger movements in Dubai (+7 per cent compared to the previous year) with a total of 31 port calls, while there will be 30 calls at Abu Dhabi with a total of 75,000 transit passengers (+15 per cent compared to 2009/10).