PHOTO: Costa Favolosa. (courtesy Costa Cruises)
October is National Plan a Cruise Month, and with Costa Cruises' "Early Booking Dream Sales Event," it's the ideal time to plan a Mediterranean vacation. The Italian-flagged cruise line is offering reduced rates, reduced deposits and onboard credits of up to $800 per cabin on select 2016 Mediterranean cruises. Organized by Cruise Lines International Association, the monthlong Plan a Cruise initiative aims to educate travelers and promote cruising as the ultimate vacation option through a multidimensional campaign.
During the month of October, CLIA is partnering with its cruise line members in a joint effort to make travelers fall in love with cruising. The association is putting the spotlight on the cruise product through social media initiatives, daily cruise giveaways in the #CruiseSmile sweepstakes and inviting cruise offers.
Costa Cruises, which sails the Mediterranean year-round, is promoting Med cruises in October with reduced rates and reduced deposits of $100 per person (usually $400) on eight ships and on itineraries from March through December 2016. Costa also is offering onboard credits ranging from $50 to $400 per person, double occupancy, depending on the level of cabin booked and duration of the cruise.
"We are a proud partner of CLIA, and National Plan a Cruise Month is a great time to work together to show travelers that there's no better way to see the world than on a cruise, and no better way to explore the Mediterranean than on a Costa cruise," said Scott Knutson, vice president, sales and marketing, for Costa Cruises North America. "Cruising already is a great value with the ease, quality and exciting destinations, but these added incentives make October the ideal time to plan ahead for cruisers who have been dreaming of a Costa cruise for 2016."
Onboard credits vary depending on interior, outside, balcony and suite cabins, and range up to $200 per person, double occupancy, for cruises up to seven nights; up to $300 on itineraries of eight or nine nights; and up to $400 on cruises 10 nights or longer.
Reduced rates are available on almost every Mediterranean itinerary throughout 2016. For example, guests interested in cruising the western Med can do so on the line's new flagship Costa Diadema for as little as $645 per person, double occupancy. The ship's seven-night itineraries from Civitavecchia (Rome), Italy, feature calls at La Spezia and Savona, Italy; Marseille, France; and Barcelona and Palma de Mallorca, Spain. Rates start as low as $745 in the spring with departures April 7, 14, 21 and 28, and May 5, 12, 19 and 26.
Here are some sample 2016 cruise options that include savings and the onboard credit:
Guests looking for a short getaway can take advantage of Costa Favolosa's three-night cruises, which include calls at Marseille and Barcelona, or five-night sailings that add a call at Civitavecchia. Rates start at $395 on three-night departures April 17 and May 9, 2016, and $495 on five-night Nov. 4, 9 and 14, 2016, departures from Savona.
Costa Magica's 11-night cruises call at Marseille or Barcelona; Cadiz and Valencia, Spain; Lisbon, Portugal; and Tangier and Casablanca (overnight), Morocco. Departures from Savona are March 29, April 20, May 1 and 23, and June 3. Rates start at $1,095.
Costa Fascinosa's seven-night itinerary includes calls at Barcelona, Valencia and Palma de Mallorca, Spain; Palermo, Sicily; and Naples, Italy. Rates start at $645 on departures from Savona Oct. 29, and Nov. 5, 12 and 19, 2016.
Reduced rates also are available on Costa Pacifica's 19-night transatlantic crossing from Santos, Brazil, to Savona. Guests can couple a full exploration of Brazil's coast with the western Med's most popular ports. The itinerary includes calls at Rio de Janeiro, Ilheus, Salvador Bahia, Maceio and Recife, Brazil; St. Cruz de Tenerife; Casablanca; Gibraltar, U.K.; Barcelona and Marseille. The ship departs March 1. Rates start at $1,495.
Costa Deliziosa's seven-night roundtrip Venice sailings include calls at Bari, Italy; Corfu, Santorini and Mykonos or Piraeus (Athens), Greece; and Dubrovnik. Rates start at $795, on the ship's April 3, 10, 17 and 24, and May 1 departures.
Beginning in late October through November 2016, guests can cruise the eastern Med on Costa Mediterranea's seven-night cruises from Venice. The itinerary features calls at Trieste, Italy; Split and Dubrovnik, Croatia; Kotor, Montenegro; and Katakolon (Olympia) and Corfu, Greece. Rates start at $645 with departures Oct. 28 and Nov. 4, 11 and 19, 2016.
Costa neoRiviera's seven-night itineraries are highlighted by overnight calls at Venice and Istanbul, Turkey. The ship's Oct. 31, 2016, itinerary from Venice also calls at Split, Corfu, Santorini and Piraeus. A Nov. 7 departure from Istanbul calls at Mykonos, Santorini, Argostoli and Dubrovnik. Rates start at $545 for both options.
All cruise-only fares are per person, double occupancy, and do not include government taxes and fees. Maximum of two onboard credits per stateroom. Departures from alternate embarkation ports available on select itineraries.
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