MIAMI, FL, June 27 Ã¢â‚¬â€œ Beginning in December 2007, Costa, Europe and South AmericaÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Number One Cruise Line, will become the first cruise operator worldwide to offer Indian Ocean cruises departing from Mauritius. The news was officially announced Monday in the beautiful island locale during a press conference co-hosted by Costa Crociere SpA Chairman & CEO Pier Luigi Foschi and Xavier Luc Duval, MauritiusÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Tourism, Transport and Communications.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“In 2008 we will confirm our role as leaders in innovation by offering our customers a truly unique holiday destination, never before marketed by a cruise operator,Ã¢â‚¬Â said Pier Luigi Foschi, Chairman & CEO of Costa Crociere SpA. Ã¢â‚¬Å“Following the opening of new routes in Asia and Dubai last year, next winter we will also offer cruises from Mauritius, itineraries which are already proving to be popular judging from the advance bookings. I would like to thank the authorities of Mauritius for their cooperation and commitment, which have enabled us to be the first to offer cruise departures from this splendid island.Ã¢â‚¬Â
In the course of the 2007/2008 winter season, the 25,600-ton Costa Marina, which features a total guest capacity of 1,000, will set sail from Mauritius every Saturday on six 14-day cruises in the Indian Ocean. The first departure is scheduled for December 22, 2007, with the last one on March 1, 2008. The itinerary includes two day stopovers in Mauritius and MahÃƒÂ¨ (Seychelles), and one-day calls at Mombasa (Kenya), Mayotte, Nosy Be (Madagascar), Toamasina (Madagascar) and RÃƒÂ©union.
In addition, there will be two exciting 27-day positioning cruises from Savona to Mauritius, the first leaving November 26, 2007 with stops in Egypt, Jordan, the Seychelles, Kenya, Mayotte and Madagascar, while the other will sail from Mauritius to Savona, with a departure on March 14, 2008 covering the same route in the opposite direction. The Costa Marina will bring a total of around 11,000 passengers to Mauritius.
The cruises out of Mauritius on the Costa Marina will feature guided shore excursions in each port of call, with the chance to visit some of the local highlights. Of all highlights, the stunning beaches are most certainly the main one Ã¢â‚¬â€œ from Mauritius, MahÃƒÂ¨ in the Seychelles, and Mayotte, RÃƒÂ©union. However, there is also a wealth of sightseeing excursions, including the Pamplemousses Botanical Gardens, which first opened in 1735, Tsavo East National Park, safaris in Kenya (in one of the worldÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s largest game sanctuaries), and daytrips to see the wildlife at Parc Ivoloina in Madagascar. In addition, guests may enjoy a tour of Mombasa Old Town with a spectacular Ã¢â‚¬Å“son et lumiÃƒÂ¨reÃ¢â‚¬Â presentation portraying the historical struggles between the Arabs and the Portuguese for control of the city, as well as dolphin-watching trips in Mayotte or the blue safari in Mauritius, exploring the superb barrier reef and coral gardens. For reservations or more information, contact a travel agent, call (800) GO-COSTA or visit www.costacruises.com.