COSTA Cruises marked their 10th anniversary in Asia yesterday with a slew of new products that will be rolled out across all their ships positioned in the continent.
In their move to continuously innovate and embrace technology, Costa Asia has created the MyCosta mobile app and outfitted vessels with self-service kiosks.
The MyCosta app allows for free unlimited calls and messages with friends and family who are also onboard. This is aimed at helping make communication easier as travellers are often busy with their own activities in different parts of the vessel.
Meanwhile, the self-service kiosks help to streamline manpower processes. Available in several Asian languages such as Bahasa and Mandarin, the kiosks can be used to book shore excursions, spa treatments and make restaurant reservations, such as for the recently-launched Asian-style Hot Pot sessions.
The sessions (US$25 per head) will be held in the Magnifico Club Restaurant and available only for all Singapore sailings this winter season (October 22, 2016 to January 8, 2017). The Hot Pot features over 20 condiments.
Costa Asia’s marketing director, Eunice Lee, elaborated: “The Hot Pot will be rolled out to all ships in the Costa Asia fleet – Costa Victoria, Costa Serena, Costa Fortuna and Costa Atlantica. Asians, especially from the China and Japan markets, seem to like hot pot very much.”
When asked for an update on Costa’s Asia performance, Lee told TTG Asia e-Daily: “The China market is growing very well, and this year we have four ships, with the fifth ship –Costa neoRomantica – arriving next year.
“As for Japan, it is our first time entering the market (July 25 to September 8, 2016) with the 6D/5N itinerary from Fukuoka. Overall, in terms of capacity, we’ve grown about 30 to 40 per cent across Asia.”
Food aboard the Costa Victoria will also be certified halal for sailings from Singapore, Thailand or Malaysia from October 22, 2016 to January 8, 2017.
On why the company decided to introduce halal cuisine, Lee said: “We see a lot of demand, and it is a segment we can tap into. We are welcoming more Muslim guests and this segment is growing at about 30 per cent every year.”
Costa Asia is also recognising the important role that travel consultants have played in its success. As such, the company will be holding a Mr/Ms Costa Free Voyage contest for travel agents. Any employee of a travel agency which sells Costa Cruises Asia and is above 18, is eligible to enter.
To enter, travel agents have to answer the question “Which ship is your favourite Costa ship and why?”, include a picture of themselves with a Costa element such as a cup or sticker, and provide their personal information. All submissions should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The best entry from agents in Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand will each win one free cruise per year in a Balcony Twin Cabin, for 10 consecutive years.
The contest entry period runs from August 11 to September 2. Results will be announced on September 12.