As millions of families go “back to school” this fall, many adventurous North Americans will look to the calmer autumn months for their next travel adventure. With more travelers than ever considering a cruise, Costa Cruises is making it easier for American travelers to choose an authentic and relaxing European vacation with more than 250 Mediterranean cruises during the fall shoulder season.

Costa’s unique itineraries, superb Italian cuisine, sommelier-selected wine lists and unbeatable spa and wellness programming make Italy’s largest travel company the ideal choice to beat the crowds and enjoy the cooler temperatures in the Mediterranean this time of year.

“Costa was born in the Mediterranean, and we offer our guests a truly authentic experience both on board and ashore, which is why we offer a robust, year-round Med program,” said Scott Knutson, vice president of sales and marketing for Costa Cruises North America. “The region is beautiful in every season, but the fall is an especially ideal time to cruise because of the weather and reduced visitors. And this year we’re excited to add Costa Smeralda, so guests can cruise the Med on our first LNG-fueled ship.”

Costa’s Multiple Embarkation Ports Enable Flexibility

Costa Cruises’ unique approach of offering multiple embarkation and disembarkation ports in the Mediterranean makes it easier for travelers to find the perfect itinerary.

Costa’s embarkation and disembarkation ports include Piraeus (Athens), Greece; Barcelona, Palma de Mallorca and Tarragona, Spain; Marseille and Toulon, France; and Bari, Catania, Civitavecchia (Rome), Genoa, Marseille, Naples, Palermo, Savona, Tarragona, Trieste and Venice, Italy.

Celebrate Costa Smeralda’s Inaugural Season

Guests looking to make history can explore the Mediterranean on the new Costa Smeralda. Upon delivery in October the ship will be the first in Costa’s fleet powered by liquefied natural gas, or LNG, the world’s cleanest burning fossil fuel.

Costa Smeralda’s five-night inaugural cruise departs Savona Nov. 4, with stops at Marseille; Barcelona; and Civitavecchia (Rome). During the rest of the season, Costa Smeralda will continue to sail around the western Mediterranean, offering seven-night cruises with calls in France, Spain and Italy.

See the Sights of Greece, Croatia and Montenegro

From September through November, guests can explore the unforgettable shorelines of the Adriatic, Ionian and Mediterranean seas that offer a unique mosaic of culture and history. Costa Deliziosa, Costa Luminosa and Costa Victoria all feature seven-night sailings that call at ports in Croatia, Greece, Italy and Montenegro.

Classic Western Mediterranean Cruises

Costa’s western Mediterranean sailings will take guests on a journey to the cradle of great civilizations full of history, culture, stunning landscapes and iconic sites. Costa Diadema and Costa Fortuna feature seven-night sailings that visit France, Italy and Spain. Costa Fascinosa’s three-, six- and seven-night cruises call at ports in France, Italy, Malta and Spain.

Extended Western Mediterranean Sailings

For cruisers who dream of exploring more of the Mediterranean this fall, Costa also features longer cruises on three ships.

Costa Favolosa’s 10-night sailings, along with Costa Pacifica’s and Costa neoRiviera’s 10- and 11-night cruises feature calls in the Canary Islands, Morocco, Portugal, Spain, France and Italy.

Magical Mini Cruises

Travelers seeking a quick Mediterranean getaway can embark Costa Magica for three-, four-, five- and six-night mini–western Mediterranean cruises with calls in Italy, France and Spain.

Costa Magica’s fall season also features one 10-night cruise from Savona departing Oct. 31 with calls in Spain, Italy and France. Guests also can choose to sail a shorter seven-night segment of that cruise.

Mediterranean cruise fares start at $289 per person, double occupancy. Taxes, fees, port expenses and gratuities are additional.

For reservations, call a travel advisor or 800-GO-COSTA. To learn more about Costa Cruises, visit www.costacruise.com. Connect directly with Costa socially on Costa’s official Facebook, Twitter and YouTube pages.

The Costa Cruises Experience

For over 70 years, Costa’s fleet has offered an authentic Italian-style holiday for cruisers from every continent. Given the international clientele, announcements are in Italian, Spanish, French, German and English, and the entertainment bridges language barriers with theme parties, musical offerings, games and contests. Costa Cruises takes pride in its culinary traditions, serving authentic Italian food the way real Italians like it, with later dining times, mozzarella made onboard and venues that reflect every region of the country. Guests can indulge in Italy’s most popular food and beverage brands, such as Barilla Pasta, Illy Caffé, Aperol and Ferrari Trento. The Costa experience includes an expansive Samsara Spa program and “Peppa Pig”–branded fleetwide areas and activities for children and youths. On a Costa cruise, North American guests can expect Italy’s Finest on a truly international cruise experience.

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