Venetian style and glamour heads east

Designed for Chinese guests eager to experience the style and elegance of a visit to Venice from the comfort of a luxury ship cruising in regional waters, Costa Venezia was due to reach Tokyo at the end of April after a 53-day maiden voyage from Trieste to prepare for its first season operating out of Shanghai.

While few contest the iconic position the city of Venice occupies in Italian culture, it is an iconography that can easily slide into cliché. This is one reason that one of the principal characteristics required of the newly-delivered Costa Venezia has been that its scale should not overpower the intimate atmosphere of the alleys of Venice and the subtle majesty of the city’s open spaces.

The cultural experience is sustained not only through signage, lighting and plenty of ‘Lion of Venice’ sculptures, but through impressions and experiences throughout that are reminiscent of a visit to the world’s top tourist destination. For YSA Design, the project has demanded considerable ingenuity, painstaking project management, and materials selection and exceptional standards of finishing from the Italian craftsmen with which YSA Design has worked throughout.

Costa Cruises has been operating in China’s cruise market since 2006, but Costa Venezia is the first ship built from first principles with the Chinese guest in mind. At 323m in length, the 5,200-passenger capacity ship is also the largest Costa Cruise ship ever to operate in the Chinese market.

YSA Design’s stand-out solutions include the two-deck ‘Magrodome’ on the Lido deck, which resembles a Venetian hotel courtyard that includes its own cooling water fountain and pool, and the Canal Grande Aft restaurant on Deck 3 and 4, where Venetian colonnades provide frontage for elegant rooms. These areas feature real plaster facades for the Venetian ‘palacios’ and Italian soft stone for doorways. The Canal Grande Aft also features a real gondola made by Squero di San Trovaso artisans, so that Chinese guests can capture an authentic ‘moment’ to show family and friends.

Meanwhile, YSA Design’s Delle Stelle aft bar offers guests a flavour of the glamour and glitz of the Biennale Film Festival, where another ‘photo-opp’ awaits as guests sashay up the red carpet past waxworks of their cinema idols on their way to the upscale art deco lounge.