Costa Cruises introduced its neoCollection late in 2013, featuring two of the line’s smaller ships, Costa neoRiviera and Costa neoRomantica, both able to sail to destinations inaccessible to larger vessels. Featuring “slow cruising,” a style of cruise vacation that features longer, leisurely itineraries and extended time in port. Not even a year from its inception, the Costa small ship fleet neoCollection is playing well with cruise travelers.
“We launched the neoCollection because we recognized that many travelers are looking for a more immersive cruise experience,” said Scott Knutson, vice president of sales and marketing for Costa Cruises North America.
Indeed, Costa neoRiviera’s 11-night itinerary is a good example of what the Italian cruise line is doing with their destination-intense focus. The sailing features an overnight stay at Barcelona, Spain, and extended calls at Toulon, France; Valletta, Malta; and Porto Empedocle, Salerno and Livorno, Italy.
Taking It Ashore
Costa also designed small-group shore excursions to showcase cultural and natural attractions in each destination. We saw the value of small group excursions not long ago, sailing with Abercrombie & Kent on a European river cruise with just 13 others. That a big ship cruise line is doing this speaks volumes to their commitment for a quality, immersive experience.
The Costa small ship fleet idea seems to be playing well with actual passengers who have sailed the small ships too. Costa Cruises’ Costa neoRiviera recently achieved the highest scores across the fleet on customer satisfaction surveys. Testing the experience, Costa asked guests how likely they were to recommend their cruise to a friend, colleague or relative. Passengers gave Costa neoRiviera the highest ratings, highlighting how quickly the line’s neoCollection has gained popularity since its inception.
“Costa neoRiviera’s number-one ranking in the fleet validates our decision to develop the slow-cruise product and we’re pleased that it’s been so well received,” added Knutson.
More neo-Ships On The Way
Following a refurbishment, Costa Classica will join the Costa small ship fleet neoCollection in December as Costa neoClassica and will sail the Indian Ocean and east coast of Africa.