YSA Design helps Costa to deliver a taste of Venice to Chinese guests

YSA Design helps Costa to deliver a taste of Venice to Chinese guests
Costa Venezia’s Canal Grande Aft features a real gondola made by Squero di San Trovaso artisans (Image: Costa Cruises)

Costa Cruises’ new Costa Venezia is to bring a taste of Italy to Chinese cruise guests when she arrives in her new Shanghai homeport this May, thanks to Venice-inspired interiors created by Norwegian firm YSA Design.  

Costa has been operating in China’s cruise market since 2006, but Costa Venezia is the first ship to be built exclusively with Chinese guests in mind. Constructed by Fincantieri, the 323-metre-long, 135,500gt luxury ship can accommodate up to 5,200 passengers and is Costa’s largest ship to operate in the Chinese market. The vessel, which is currently sailing a 53-day maiden voyage from Trieste to Tokyo, Japan, will begin regular cruise itineraries from Shanghai on 18 May. 

YSA Design played a key role in the ship’s conception and in finishing the interiors to the highest standards. 

“The challenge set for us was to deliver Venice to China inside a ship in an elegant way, avoiding cliché,” said Anne Mari Gullikstad, chief executive of YSA Design. “Creating interiors that work in a cruise environment but are also authentic, and exceptional levels of finishing from Italian craftsmen have both been pivotal in delivering on the owner’s expectations. The results are refreshingly true to the initial design ideas.”

YSA Design created the intimate cultural experience through signage, lighting and ‘Lion of Venice’ sculptures, as well as Venetian-style cobbled alleys and a Venetian square.

“We have used real plaster façades for the Venetian palacios and sourced Italian soft stone for doorways; in the case of the Canal Grande Aft we’ve also installed a real gondola made by Squero di San Trovaso artisans next to the main staircase ‘floating’ in backlit glass,” said Gullikstad. “This is an eye-catching opportunity for guests to capture an authentic ‘moment’ to show family and friends.”

According to Gullikstad, there are two other features that will particularly appeal to the ship’s guests. One is the Magrodome on the ship’s Lido deck, which is similar to a Venetian hotel courtyard and even boasts a water fountain. The other is the Delle Stelle aft bar where guests can experience the Venice film festival and see all in their favourite celebrities in waxwork form. 

YSA Design is working on a second Costa Cruises ship for the Chinese market, which is under construction at Fincantieri’s Marghera yard and is expected to be delivered in 2020.

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Elly Yates-Roberts
By Elly Yates-Roberts
Thursday, April 4, 2019