Marseille joins a growing list of European backdrops Costa has selected for its inaugurals. Historically, the Italy-based line used its home country for introducing its ships (and still does -- CostaConcordia was christened in Civitavecchia last year). However, Costa's branched out: In 2004, CostaMagica was christened in Barcelona -- the first Costa new-build to debut outside of Italy.
CostaSerena is the second Costa ship that will be christened outside of Italy, and the first in France. Also, Serena will be the first ship ever christened in Marseille, the country's oldest port city; interestingly, Costa was the first cruise line to call at Marseille regularly (beginning May 1996), and in 2007 will net 30 visits there.
CostaSerena will be inaugurated on May 12, 2007, and we expect quite the show -- the cruise line is known for hosting elaborate christening festivities. The ship, Costa's 12th, is a sister to CostaConcordia and is currently under construction at Fincantieri's Genoa-Sestri Ponente shipyard.
Stay tuned to Cruise Critic for more details as they are announced!
--by Melissa Baldwin, Senior Editor