Asia’s first world cruise sets off from Shanghai

The first ever round-the-world cruise to start and end in Asia has set sail from Shanghai.

The Costa Atlantica liner sailed out of the Chinese city’s Wusongkou International Cruise Terminal on Sunday, for an 86-day voyage that will cross three oceans and visit 28 destinations in 18 countries on five continents.

“The Asia market is of great strategic importance to Costa Cruises, and China in particular has become a vital region for us,” said Michael Thamm, CEO of Costa Crociere.

“This first world cruise voyage is one of the most important steps for Costa to further expand in Asia. This ground-breaking initiative will definitely help us strengthen our Costa brand and further boost the development of more global activities in Asia,” he added.

Costa's CEO Michael Thamm celebrates the launch with Wang Hong, secretary-general of the Shanghai Baoshan CPC Committee
Costa’s CEO Michael Thamm celebrates the launch with Wang Hong, secretary-general of the Shanghai Baoshan CPC Committee

The world cruise will initially sail from Shanghai to Hong Kong, before continuing to Ho Chi Minh City and Vung Tau in Vietnam, Phuket in Thailand, and onwards to Sri Lanka and the Maldives.

It will then move through the Suez Canal and into the Mediterranean Sea, before crossing the Atlantic Ocean to New York. After sailing to the Caribbean and through the Panama Canal, it will then visit California before traversing the Pacific, via Hawaii, to Japan. The Costa Atlantica will finally arrive back in Shanghai on 26 May 2015.

During the trip, Costa will offer a series of themed entertainment programmes, port visits and overnight stays.

Costa became the first international cruise line to operate homeport cruises from China in 2006. This year it is basing three ships in China, with the Costa Victoria and Costa Serena operating alongside the Costa Atlantica.

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