Costa Cruises -- whose Atlantica, Victoria and Romantica offer American passengers the most European-esque environment on traditionally North American routes -- is expanding its presence in Europe. The line announced it has signed a letter of intent to build two 105,000 ton ships at Fincantieri Shipyard, in Genoa. The $400 million ships, it is anticipated, will be birthed in late 2003 and late 2004.
Costa, totally owned now by Carnival Cruises, is one of a number of cruise lines that’s targeting the European market. Not necessarily the American-cruiser-gone-to-Europe market, however, but Europeans themselves. Costa currently dominates the Italian cruise niche while rival P&O is strong with German and British travelers.