Italy’ Costa Cruises officially named its newest ship Costa Deliziosa, the first in cruising history to be named in the UAE at the newly opened Dubai Cruise Terminal.
In keeping with tradition, the official naming ceremony was performed by the Godmother of the ship, Tala Donisi, wife of the Italian Ambassador in the UAE, and ship’s captain, Giuseppe Russo, with the bottle breaking against the bows of the ship in time-honoured fashion.
Among other VIPs and officials in attendance were Crown Prince Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saeed Al Maktoum, chairman of Dubai Airports and Emirates Airlines Group, Pier Luigi Foschi, chairman and CEO of Costa Crociere and Paolo Dionisi, Italian Ambassador to the UAE.
The €450-million ($612-million) Costa Deliziosa, a 92,600 gross-tonnage ship with her 934 crew and 2,159 guests, is the first cruise ship to be named in an Arab city.
She was built at Fincantieri’s Venice-Marghera yard in Italy with the labour of around 3,000 people, both the shipyard’s own employees and around 500 contracted suppliers, most from Italian firms.
The naming ceremony, a charming and innovative event organised by the Dubai Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM) together with Costa Crociere, took place during the ship’s grand inaugural cruise which departed from Savona, Italy, on February 5 and called at Dubai from February 23 to 26.
Costa Deliziosa is the 15th ship in Costa’s fleet and, as the first ever cruise ship to be named in an Arabian city, it is expected the ceremony will further strengthen the ties between Costa Cruises, Italy’s largest tourism group and Europe’s number one cruise company, and DTCM.
“The naming ceremony of our 15th ship, Costa Deliziosa, in Dubai confirms again our pioneering spirit in setting a new record and strengthens the partnership between Costa Cruises and Dubai. We worked together with the DTCM to create an unforgettable event rich with surprise and atmosphere, combining the charming tradition of an Arabian night with the unique Italian style of Costa Cruises,” said Fabrizia Greppi, Costa Cruises vice president for corporate marketing and communications.
Hamad bin Mejren, DTCM executive director business tourism, said: “Dubai is steaming ahead and we look forward to a period of tremendous growth in the cruise tourism segment. Cruise tourists are becoming an increasingly important part of Dubai’s tourism industry. Costa Cruises made Dubai its regional cruise hub in 2006 giving the growing cruise industry a major boost. Costa’s decision reconfirms the potential of Dubai as the regional cruise industry hub. We are delighted with its decision and assure our whole-hearted cooperation and support to make the initiative successful.”
In the winter 2009/2010 season, Costa’s ships are expected to bring 140,000 passenger movements to Dubai thanks to the presence of three ships for a total of 32 calls.
Together with her sister ship Costa Luminosa, the Costa Deliziosa represents Costa Cruises’ top-of-the-range offering and is the most exclusive and innovative member of the fleet.
Featured in the stunning atrium, very much the focal point here as on all Costa ships, are fine works of art, notably ‘Sphere’ by Arnaldo Pomodoro, Italy’s greatest living sculptor, and ‘Delizia fisica e Delizia intellettuale’ (physical delight and intellectual delight), a piece by leading contemporary Italian painter Mario Donizetti.
Whether it’s fun or relaxation, there is plenty to do on board, much involving the use of leading-edge technology, including: 4D cinema; roller skating track; the latest generation super-realistic golf simulator, with a real outside putting green; Grand Prix driving simulator, produced from an original GP car with the same software and technology used by the F1 champion drivers themselves in training; the exclusive 3500-sq-m Samsara Spa wellness centre with the Technogym Kinesis circuit; PlayStation World, an area on board dedicated exclusively to PlayStation3, plus the PlayStation-on-demand cabin service.
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