As Costa Venezia settles into its regular cruise itinerary out of Shanghai, Anne Marie Gullikstad, Chief Executive of YSA Design and Advisory Board member for Cruise Ship Interiors Europe, talks bringing Venetian glamour to China.

Gullikstad played a central role in conceiving Costa Venezia and in the completion of key areas to standards designed to bring Asian guests experiences reminiscent of visiting the world’s top tourist destination.

There can be few better introductions to Italian culture than the city of Venice, Gullikstad points out. “The challenge set for us was to deliver Venice to China inside a ship in an elegant way, avoiding cliché. 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.”

Gullikstad draws attention to the ‘Magrodome’ on Costa Venezia’s Lido deck, which she likens to a Venetian hotel courtyard with its own cooling water fountain. Extending over two decks, the surrounding structures feature private rooms on their upper level. Also exemplary is the Canal Grande Aft restaurant on Deck 3 and 4, where Venetian colonnades provide frontage for elegant rooms with fine wall coverings, Murano lighting and classical detailing.

We have used real plaster facades 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,” says Gullikstad. “This is an eye-catching opportunity for guests to capture an authentic ‘moment’ to show family and friends.” 

Gullikstad confirms that 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.