The Costa Mediterranea is celebrating a major milestone today. Now part of the fleet of China-based CSSC Carnival, the vessel is turning 20 years old after being delivered to Costa Cruises on May 22, 2003.
A sister to the 1999-built Costa Atlantica, the 86,000-ton ship originally served the European market, offering varied itineraries in both the Mediterranean and Northern Europe.
After being christened by the Spanish model Inés Sastre during a ceremony in Naples, the Mediterranea kicked off its inaugural season in June.
Sailing in the Western Mediterranean, the 2,100-guest vessel offered a series of seven-night cruises to Italy, Spain, Tunisia and France that featured visits to Genoa, Naples, Palermo, Tunis, Palma de Mallorca and Marseille.
For its first winter season, the Costa Mediterranea repositioned to North America, offering a program of seven-night cruises out of Port Everglades.
Sailing to both Eastern and Western Caribbean, the cruises included stops in several ports in the region, such as St. Thomas, San Juan, Nassau, Key West, Progreso, Cozumel and more.
During its 18-year career with Costa, the ship also offered summer programs in other areas, such as the Baltic and the Eastern Mediterranean, as well as winter seasons in different parts of the world, including South America, the Middle East and the Indian Ocean.
After being sold to CSSC Carnival in 2018, the Costa Mediterranea was delivered to its new owners during the pandemic operational pause, in 2021.
Currently laid up in Cyprus, the ship is expected to soon reposition to China, where it will serve the local market along with the Costa Atlantica and CSSC Carnival’s two newbuilds.
Built for the company at the Kvaerner Masa Yard in Turku, the Mediterranea shares the design of Carnival’s Spirit Class.
As its sister ships, the vessel features interiors by the hospitality architect Joe Farcus. With a central theme, the décor draws inspiration from Italy’s palaces and castles and includes several art pieces from the European country.