By Emma Procter
Costa Cruises increases capacity with two more ships.
Costa Cruises is set to increase its capacity by 12% in 2009 with the introduction of two brand new ships.
The Costa Luminosa which will have a guest capacity of 2828, and the Costa Pacifica which will hold 3780 are set to hit the water in April and May 2009 respectively. The new liners are currently under construction at the Fincantieri ship yards in Venice and the Sestri Ponente in Genoa.
And another three new ships are in the pipeline, meaning Costa will have five new ships in service by 2012. The new builds will enable a 50% overall increase in capacity for Costa which by 2012 will have 17 ships in and an available total capacity of 46400.
The Italian company has just released its new brochure and has set its sights on an ambitious new target of 1.5 million guests in 2010 - a 50% increase in just three years.
In 2009, Costa's ships will offer around 250 destinations all over the world and more than 100 different itineraries.
It will be the first company to offer a transatlantic cruise from Italy to Argentina and up the Amazon River as far as Manaus, Brazil.
Cruises to New England and Canada are slated for autumn, with five calls in Quebec, Boston, Newport and New York.
There are also new plans for the Mediterranean, with two new itineraries featuring two-day stopovers in Istanbul and Lisbon, and new ports of call at Capri, the Isle of Elba and St. Tropez, as well as additional cruise routes in Japan, Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia and Malaysia.