Costa cruises has sold the 50,000 ton Costa NeoClassica to an as yet undisclosed buyer. The ship will leave the Costa fleet in March, 2018, after a final season of Maldives cruises. As of June 2018, her scheduled programme of Aegean cruises out of Bari will be undertaken by the redeployed Costa NeoRiviera.
The original Costa NeoRiviera itineraries in turn will now be taken up by the Costa Victoria, making her return to the Mediterranean after a deployment to China and Japan that began back in 2012. After refurbishment in a Marseilles dry dock in late March next year, the ship will begin a series of week long, summertime sailings centered on the Spanish Balearic islands.
The route comprises a Savona departure, and sails to Olbia in Sardinia, Mahon in Minorca, then an overnight stop in Ibiza, before calling at Palma de Mallorca and a final, overnight call at Tarragona, on mainland Spain. These cruises are currently slated to start in June, and what the ship will do between March and then is currently unspecified.
None the less, the return of the one off Costa Victoria to the Mediterranean makes for a welcome breath of fresh air. And the sale of Costa NeoClassica surely raises questions over the future of her sole surviving sister ship- Costa NeoRomantica- within the Costa portfolio.
While no buyer has been announced yet for the departing, 1991 built Costa NeoClassica, it is a matter of record that the UK based company, Thomas Cook, is looking for a pair of start up vessels for a cruise line of it’s own. Thus far, Thomas Cook has remained tight lipped about just which ships it is hoping to acquire.
Could it be that both the Costa stalwarts might soon be reunited, and sailing under the British flag?
Stay tuned for updates.