Costa Cruises is upping its capacity in the Indian Ocean by doubling the number of cruises for the winter 2016-17 season.
The first of a total of 11 cruises is scheduled to depart on October 15 2016, and the last on March 4, 2017. The 14-day itineraries onboard the Costa neoRomantica will include longer stopovers to allow guests to enjoy more extended visits of the islands, Costa said.
The cruise will depart from Mauritius and sail to the Seychelles, where the ship will berth for two days and two nights. The cruise will continue to Madagascar, with day calls at Nosy Be, Diego Suarez and Tamatave. The next stop, one day and one night, will be the island of Réunion, before the ship returns to Mauritius, with a final one day and one night call, and sails back to Europe.
The increase in the number of cruises in the Indian Ocean is the end result of an agreement signed recently in Paris, during the IFTM/Top Resa travel trade show, between Costa Cruises, the Seychelles Ministry of Tourism and the Vanilla Islands Organisation (the organization that promotes tourism in the islands of the Indian Ocean).
"We are the only company proposing regular cruises to these unique islands of the Indian Ocean," said Norbert Stiekema, executive vice president of sales and marketing for Costa Cruises.
The agreement calls for cooperation and investments for promoting tourism, for improving port infrastructures and guest hospitality facilities, for flight connections and for the excursions offered to guests, Costa said.
On December 12, 2015, on the departure of the first Costa neoRomantica Indian Ocean cruise of the winter 2015-16 season, all the Ministers of each country member of the Vanilla Islands will be onboard with Norbert Stiekema for two days to work on the future development of the agreement.