Explore the Canary Islands, Spain’s Celebrated Winter Getaway, with Value & Ease Aboard the New Costa Serena

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MIAMI, April 12 — Europeans have long made the Canary Islands their choice for a sun-soaked getaway from winter weather – and with good reason. These Spanish islands off the coast of the Western Sahara boast a stunning, varied landscape – from the soft sands of their volcanic-formed beaches to charming hillside banana plantations, the islands provide a warm winter retreat combined with incredible history dating back to the sixteenth century. Beginning in November 2007, Costa’s newest flagship, the Costa Serena, will feature 11-night cruises to the Canary Islands, with stops in Arecife as well as the capital, Santa Cruz de Tenerife.

Arecife, which is located on the island of Lanzarote, offers guests the perfect starting point from which to visit one of the most beautiful of the Canary Islands. Lanzarote features a perfectly-preserved natural environment with a climate and landscape that makes it more similar to Africa than its home country of Spain. From its sandy beaches to the lunar feel of the Timanfaya National Park, a large area of land completely buried by lava after various eruptions in the 18th and 19th centuries, excursion options provide guests a glimpse into the wonders of the island. In Santa Cruz de Tenerife, capital of the Canary Islands, guests may relax on one of the island’s most gorgeous beaches, Playa de Las Teresitas. The beach features a mile of golden sand lined with palm trees and dotted with “chiringuitos,” local cafes and bars from which to enjoy refreshing seaside drinks. A drive up the picturesque roads leading to “El Tiede,” the largest mountain in Spain, offers breathtakingly majestic views of lush valleys and the distant sea. The islands also provide a shopping paradise for tourists, filled with rare finds at very favorable prices.

“While Europeans consider the Canary Islands as their winter getaway from the cold of Northern climates, many North Americans have not yet discovered these stunningly beautiful islands,” said Lynn Torrent, President & CEO of Costa Cruise Lines-North America. “For the traveler who is looking for a new and different winter vacation, our cruises to the Canary Islands aboard the Costa Serena provide an easy and affordable way to visit this incredible region.”

Additional ports-of-call on this unique itinerary that begins and ends in Savona, Italy include Barcelona (Spain), Casablanca (Morocco) and Funchal (Madeira). During sea days, guests may enjoy the many innovations found on the Costa Serena, including one of the largest spas at sea, an authentic Grand Prix race car driving simulator, and the largest enclosable pool deck on a ship. Fares for the 11-night itinerary begin at $899, based on double occupancy.

Like her sister ship, the Costa Concordia, the 112,000-ton Costa Serena will be the largest vessel flying the Italian flag. The ship is 290 meters in length with 1500 cabins and a total guest capacity of 3,780. She will also feature all of the main innovations offered on her sister ship, including the Samsara Spa-one of the largest spas at sea, two swimming pools with a retractable magrodome, an authentic Grand Prix race car driving simulator, and menus created by the Italian culinary innovator Ettore Bocchia at “Club Bacco,” the ship’s specialty restaurant. The interiors of the Costa Serena are designed by the ingenious American architect Joe Farcus, with a central theme of Greek and Roman mythology. For reservations or more information, contact a travel agent, call (800) GO-COSTA or visit www.costacruises.com.