While cruise ships do visit Dubai as a port of call -- it's an increasingly intriguing city for travelers worldwide -- Costa's commitment to basing a ship there for a full season is a first in modern-day cruising. And, interestingly, the line is so bullish on demand for the Middle East voyages it has already announced that it will send two ships -- CostaRomantica and CostaEuropa -- there next winter.
As well, Costa's sister cruise line, the German-oriented Aida, is basing one of its ships in Dubai. AIDAcara will call at the same ports but depart on Fridays. Costa's presence in the Arabian Gulf is another in a series of off-the-track itineraries for its ships around the world. Already well-established in Europe, the line has carved a niche for itself in South America itineraries -- featuring all-Brazil itineraries offered by no other lines -- and is also the first to place a ship in China.
--by Carolyn Spencer Brown, Editor
--Photograph provided courtesy of Government of Dubai, Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing