New excursion formats and new f & b concepts for Costa Cruises. The company took advantage of the long months of lockdown and reduced activity to reimagine its offer in light of the most recent changes in demand. All in the wake of a sustainable and responsible product project announced last July with the presentation of the “Manifesto for valuable, sustainable and inclusive tourism”, Which continues to increase the number of its partners between associations and institutions at national and local level.
“Our ambition is to lead a process that knows how to go beyond the mere tourist appeal of each single destination, to enhance the people, cultures and traditions of the territories touched by our ships – explains the general manager of the company, Mario Zanetti -. This is why we intend to work with all the stakeholders of each locality in an increasingly supportive manner, with a view to sustainability, inclusion and responsibility “.
And it is precisely in the light of these guidelines that the company has decided to enrich its offer, introducing a series of novelties in the food and wine sector and in the excursion portfolio. On the subject of f & b, the unprecedented collaboration with the starred chefs French and Spanish Hélène Darroze e Angel Leon, which add to the signature of the super-proven Bruno Barbieri (Costa’s partner for six years) in the definition of ad hoc dishes, capable of enhancing the culture of the territories touched by the company’s routes (the so-called destination dishes, available in the main restaurants of all ships and included in the cruise price). Not only that: the same three chefs are also protagonists of as many themed five-course menus included in the menu of the new gourmet restaurant Archipelago: a place currently present only on the Smeralda but soon destined to be developed also on board the other ships, which is declined in spaces with intimate atmospheres inserted in a context that is both elegant and with a sustainable vocation; places to savor signature recipes capable once again of transmitting the spirit of the destinations reworked according to the creativity of Barbieri, Darroze and Leon.
Another new collaboration is therefore the one with National Geographic Expeditions for designer excursions created in synergy with the tour operator Kel 12. Given the growing importance that the shore experience is assuming for the latest generation cruise passengers, and with the aim of reaching new market segments that have not been explored until now, Costa has in fact decided to reshape its stops in port, extending stay as long as possible, in order to give passengers the opportunity to deepen their knowledge of the places visited. An evolution that has allowed the company to enrich its excursion portfolio with a series of unpublished land itineraries, including those organized in partnership with National Geographic-Kel 12: small-group tours (maximum 20 people) led by tour guides. the exception as archaeologists, oenologists, volcanologists, marine biologists and photographers, capable of making people discover each destination with an original look, approached each time with a different cut and theme.
From this concept was born, for example, the photographic journey on the trail of Paul Cezanne in Aix-En-Provence which, starting from Marseille, leads the participants in the creation of a sort of photographic reportage dedicated to the French artist, precursor of Cubism. An experience that will soon be accompanied by workshops on the ship, where passengers can at the same time discuss the shots taken, prepare for a possible subsequent photographic experience and perhaps learn some post-production techniques, in what for some could become a real and own complete photography course on board. But the Costa – National Geographic – Kel 12 excursions also translate into many other ways, such as the cruises from Palermo to discover Mount Pellegrino accompanied by a naturalist, the Barcelona tour dedicated to Pablo Picasso conducted by an expert in Fine Arts, the trekking on Vesuvius with a volcanologist guide, the tour of Santorini by kayak and the discovery of Amsterdam and its surroundings once again in the wake of an expert naturalist.