(11:50 a.m. EDT) – Carnival Cruise Line announced today that it will bring two Costa Cruises vessels to the U.S. as part of a new concept that will debut in the spring of 2023.
The program, dubbed COSTA by Carnival, aims to marry Carnival’s service, food and entertainment with Costa’s Italian design features. To that end, Carnival will bring two Costa vessels -- Costa Venezia and Costa Firenze -- stateside in the coming years.
Carnival Cruise Line will operate both ships as part of its fleet, and both will be bookable through Carnival. The ships will still retain their Costa branding and look and feel, but will be crewed by Carnival crewmembers, Carnival confirmed to Cruise Critic.
Costa Venezia will arrive in 2023 to join the Carnival fleet sailing from New York, while Costa Firenze will sail from Long Beach in the spring of 2024.
Carnival Cruise Line president Christine Duffy said the Costa ships will bring the ambiance and beauty of Italy to Carnival’s fleet.
"This is an exciting opportunity for us to operate two additional beautiful Vista class ships in the U.S. and bring a unique experience to those who love the culture, food and vibe of Italy," said Duffy. "There are lots of ways we plan to create an immersive fun experience for our guests who choose to sail on these ships, which have beautiful Italian-design elements, dining and retail that will deliver Carnival fun leveraging the spirit of Italy from our sister line Costa Cruises."
"We are excited to see these iconic ships make their debut in the U.S. under the leadership and operation of our sister brand," Mario Zanetti, president of Costa Cruises, said. "Costa providing the beautiful ship with its’ Italian design and Carnival delivering FUN, Italian Style!"
According to Duffy, the ships will continue operating their regular Costa itineraries until they are assigned to Carnival for dry dock work and deployment. Deployment and itinerary plans are being finalized, with the Costa Venezia announcement coming soon given the spring 2023 launch date. Zanetti said that Costa will be informing its passengers impacted by this news.
The new partnership comes on the heels of Carnival's announcement it will permanently acquire Costa Luminosa this year. The ship will be renamed Carnival Luminosa and will kick off guest operations in November 2022 from Brisbane, Australia before repositioning to Alaska in 2023.