Venice of the sea

The cruise ship, Costa Venezia, provides guests a sumptuous feel of Venice on the high seas

23 Apr 2019 / 15:17 H.

ON APRIL 12, the Costa Venezia paid a call to Port Klang, and members of the media and special guests were invited for a tour of this newest cruise ship of Italian cruise line Costa Cruises, based in Genoa, Italy.

The Costa Venezia is currently on its maiden voyage around the world. It first sailed on March 8 from Trieste in Croatia, before its final port of call in Tokyo, Japan, on April 29, after which it will make its way to Beijing, China, where the Costa Cruises Asia office is based.

During its 53-day maiden voyage, the Costa Venezia would have cruised past the Mediterranean, Middle East, Southest Asia and the Far East.

During an earlier press conference officiated by Transport Minister Anthony Loke, Costa Cruises Japan, Korea and Southeast Asia deputy country manager Roberto Verdino said: “Costa Venezia has been designed specifically with Asian travellers in mind.

“While we continue to offer authentic Italian experience, there are many facilities and speciality restaurants that are catered to Asian guests.”

This is the first vessel in the Costa Cruise line built specifically for the Asian market (namely China), with a second ship currently under construction and expected to be delivered next year.

During a tour of the 323-metre, 135,500- tonne vessel with 20 decks (14 of which are accessible to guests), ship tour guide Leonardo Ventimiglia took guests to visit its many facilities onboard.

These include a casino with the addition of mahjong tables for Asian passengers as well as a two-deck-high duty-free shopping area that offers a range of international luxury brands.

For those looking for more than a regular cabin accommodation, they can check out the elegantly-designed suites which offer added amenities such as a private butler service, free champagne and fruits.

There are also a total of 13 restaurants on board, some of which are included as part of the tour package, with others that require payment.

Most of the restaurants serve Italian style cuisine, but there are some that serve Chinese, Japanese and American cuisine.

Ventimiglia explained that the ship’s design is inspired by Venice and “so when guests come onboard the ship, they feel like they are in [that city]”.

Venetian influences can be found in the artworks, decor, architecture and even elements of the crew’s uniforms.

Keeping with the ship’s Venetian theme, there is a replica of the city’s famous Piazza St Marco onboard, including the square’s iconic column with the statue of a gold winged lion on top rising from a 360° bar surrounding its base.

The ship also features two life-size gondolas – one in the Gondola Lounge and the other in the Canal Grande restaurant – which offer a 4D experience of a gondola ride in Venice.

There is also a theatre inspired by The Venetian La Fenice opera house, where guests can enjoy live performances featuring professional dancers, as well as the Volare KTV, a karaoke lounge specially created for Asian tourists.

To keep guests entertained, fashion shows, themed parties, and similar spectacular events are all part of the ship’s programme.

And to help guests preserve memories of their time onboard the Costa Venezia, professional photographers have been hired to snap candid shots of guests throughout the ship.

Guests can then drop by a special photo studio to download all the pictures taken of them for a fee.

For more, visit the Costa Cruises website.

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