Best Large-Ship Cruise Lines
No. 14 Costa Cruises
While the January 2012 incident involving the Costa Concordia is still under investigation, the company remains committed to passenger safety. Crew members hold Basic Safety Training certificates, and staffers perform a ship evacuation simulation every two weeks. Although changes may be underfoot for the company, the Genoa-based line—known for its Italian flair, from the onboard bocce games and tarantella dancing to pasta tastings—has stated that it will still operate more than 600 scheduled departures this year.
What’s New: Nearly a thousand architects, engineers, and skilled workers have helped to refurbish the 789-cabin Costa neoRomantica, which will debut in February 2012.
Number of Ships: 15.
Destinations: Costa focuses primarily on Europe—particularly the Eastern and Western Mediterranean, as well as the Baltic and Norwegian fjords. But it also has a growing presence in China, Singapore, Hong Kong, and in the Middle East (Dubai, UAE), as well as seasonal sailings to South America. On one particularly grand voyage, Costa calls at Australia, New Zealand, India, Madagascar, and the Maldives.