The 1,600-passenger, 48,200-ton Grand Mistral is being transferred from the Iberocruceros fleet to Costa Cruises and will be renamed Costa neoRiviera. Iberocruceros is the Spanish cruise brand owned by Costa Crociere.
Totally refurbished in 2005 and further enhanced with the addition of new suites and cabins in 2007, Grand Mistral has three restaurants (including one buffet), six bars, two shopping arcades, three swimming pools (including a splash pool for kids), Jacuzzis, a beauty and wellness center, hydrotherapy and massages, fitness center, show lounge and disco. Prior to entering service as Costa neoRiviera in November 2013, the ship's exterior decks and interior public areas are being renovated to make the ambiance feel like the Italian and French rivieras.
Beginning Nov. 24, 2013, Costa neoRiviera will sail an innovative seven-night itinerary, "The Emirates in Style," that includes all overnight calls. Departing Sundays and sailing roundtrip from Dubai, United Arab Emirates, the itinerary includes visits to Muscat, the capital of Oman, and Abu Dhabi, U.A.E. Each call includes an overnight and late departure the next day, allowing for 1.5 days of sightseeing in each port. The calls at Dubai at the beginning and end of the cruise are both overnight stays, giving guests two full nights to become immersed in the culture of that vibrant city.
"The Emirates in Style" cruise with its overnight calls sets a leisurely pace that lets guests experience new places and traditions, and revel in the "Thousand and One Nights" atmosphere of this exotic region. Guests on Costa neoRiviera will be able to go in small groups of 25 or fewer on excursions that are exclusive to this itinerary.
Shore excursions include a tour of Oman at Muscat guests with a visit to Nizwa Fort, dune bashing in Wahiba Sands and an overnight stay in a Bedouin tented camp. From Abu Dhabi, guests can soak up the sun during a day at the beach at the private Al Maya Island Resort or take part in the unforgettable experience of a night spent under the desert sky, having access to breakfast at an Arabian village. In Dubai guests can visit the royal stables and see a traditional Arabian horse show.
Costa neoRiviera's program for the winter 2013-14 season in the U.A.E. is complemented by Costa Fortuna, which will be deployed there from Dec. 20, 2013, through March 21, 2014. Costa Fortuna will sail weeklong roundtrip cruises from Dubai with calls at Muscat (overnight) and Kashab, Oman and Abu Dhabi.
For more information, visit www.costacruises.com.