By Liam P. Cusack
Costa Luminosa to sail weekly voyages from Stockholm featuring two nights at the Swedish capital and an overnight call at St. Petersburg, Russia
15, MAY 2015, GENOA — Costa Cruises‘ Costa Luminosa made its maiden call at Stockholm, Sweden today repositioning to the Baltic Sea where it will embark on a series of seven night summer cruises. There will be 15 sailings in total from Stockholm on an itinerary entitled, “Jewels of the Baltic.” The 92,000-ton, 2,260-passenger ship will visit four iconic Baltic cities. The ship will sail this unique itinerary from May until August. The last sailing will be August 22nd.
Officials in Stockholm celebrated the maiden call with a welcoming ceremony. Among those attending were, Elena Basile, Italian Ambassador to Sweden, Stefan Hansson, Chairman of the board of Ports of Stockholm, Thomas Andersson, CEO Stockholm Visitors Board, Henrik Ahlqvist, Manager Cruise & Ferry & Deputy Harbour Master, and Andrea Tavella, Sales & Marketing Director North Europe of Costa Cruises.
“Each year we work to propose something unique to our guests. Our aim, with the Costa Luminosa, is to offer a new way to enjoy North Europe. We have focused on quality, choosing few but select and incredibly charming cities in the Baltic Sea that guests can discover in the best way possible, thanks to the long stopovers that include overnight stays. Stockholm is the departure port and one of the strong points of this itinerary,” states Andrea Tavella, Sales & Marketing Director North Europe of Costa Cruises.
Tavella pointed out that, “during the two-day stopover, our guests will be able to fully enjoy an extensive tour of this splendid city. In the summer we expect to bring about 30,000 visitors to Stockholm.”
The one-week itinerary, “Jewels of the Baltic”, will depart from Stockholm, where guests will enjoy one-day and one-night stopover before sailing. After sailing, the ship will head to Helsinki (Finland), then St. Petersburg (Russia) where guests will spend two days and one night. After St. Petersburg (Russia) the ship will make its final call at Tallinn (Estonia) before returning to Stockholm
Guests from North America can take advantage of reduced fares on several of the Costa Luminosa’s departures. Rates starting at $499 for inside cabins and $799 on balcony cabins are being offered for May 23; June 6, 20 and 27; July 11 and 25; and August 1 and 8 sailings. (Fares are per person, double occupancy.)
In Stockholm, guests can choose from a myriad of excursions. For example, guests can enjoy a boat tour of the 14 islands which comprises Stockholm. More adventurous guests might enjoy a bicycle tour of the royal gardens of Djurgården. History lovers can pay avisit to the Royal Palace and the old city or the Vasa Museum, with the world’s only fully preserved seventeenth-century ship. If a guest really wants to see Stockholm they might want to visit the 130 meter-tall Sky View which offers a panoramic view of the entire city. Shoppers can shop till they drop in one of the city’s many design shops. All guests can cap off their evening with a stop at the Ice Bar before returning to the ship for a good night’s sleep.
First port-of-call is Helsinki (Finland) which can be visited by boat or bike. Some of the many places of interest include the Parliament, the National Museum, Finlandia Hall, designed by the famous architect Alvar Aalto, and the new Opera Theatre. Guests also have the opportunity to venture away from Helsinki and discover the old city of Porvoo, with its historic center and characteristic small wooden houses.
The Costa Luminosa will then make a two-day, one-night call at St. Petersburg, known as the Venice of the North. While here guests can experience all its unique attractions, the list of which is famous the world over. These include the Hermitage Museum; The Winter Palace built on the banks of the Neva; The Nevsky Prospect; and The Church of the Saviour on Spilled Blood. Excursion options give guests the chance to take a cruise on the city’s canals or attend a classical dance recital.
Before returning to Stockholm the ship will visit Tallinn, famous for its medieval historical center, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The heart of the capital is its Town Hall, a Gothic structure dating back to the 1400s. After seeing this guests can go right next door to Raeapteek, Europe’s oldest municipal pharmacy and still open for business.
All guests know that after enjoying all the sights and sounds of these enchanting ports-of-call they can return to the Costa Luminosa, one of the most beautiful and elegant ships of Costa Cruises fleet, and a destination itself. Aboard they can enjoy the award winning cuisine, sip a cocktail or espresso and rest up for the next day’s adventures. Passengers can wander the vessel and study some of the amazing works of art on board including, “Reclining Woman 2004”, a wonderful sculpture by Fernando Botero, which is the focal point of the spectacular central atrium.
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