Costa to send third ship to China in 2015

By Tom Stieghorst
The Costa Serena will be deployed in Shanghai, China, in 2015, making it the third Costa ship sourcing passengers from China and the fourth Carnival Corp. ship.

Costa already sails the Costa Victoria and Costa Atlantica full time from China. Princess Cruises will homeport the Sapphire Princess in Shanghai from May 21 to Sept. 3.

Adding a third ship based in China this year increases Carnival Corp.’s total 2014 capacity in the country by 66%. The addition of the 3,780-passenger Costa Serenity would be a 140% increase in capacity over two years.

The move comes after Royal Caribbean International said it will station Quantum of the Seas in Shanghai full-time after a six-month deployment in the New York area starting in November. Quantum is the first newbuild to serve the Chinese market.

Costa became the first global cruise company to sail regularly from China in 2006.

Follow Tom Stieghorst on Twitter @tstravelweekly.
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