Despite recent political unrest in Egypt, Costa Cruises will maintain a year-round presence in the Red Sea in 2012. Costa Allegra (1969/28,430gt) will be deployed in the region between December 2011 and March 2012, as will Grand Voyager (2000/24,391gt), operated by Costa Spanish subsidiary brand Iberocruceros, but which will be repainted in Costa colours.

Costa Marina (1969/25,558gt) will replace both ships between March and November 2012, on the same seven-day itinerary round-trip from Sharm El Sheikh, with calls at the Israeli resort of Eilat, Aqaba in Jordan and the Egyptian ports of Safaga and Sokhna.

Costa is also increasing its presence in the United Arab Emirates by sending its new 114,500gt flagship Costa Favolosa, which enters service at the end of June. She will be based in Dubai throughout the winter on seven-day cruises to Muscat, Fujairah, Abu Dhabi and Bahrain, with two nights in Dubai. Also for the first time, Costa Mediterranea (2003/85,619gt) is operating in the region from Abu Dhabi, sailing weekly to the same ports but in a different rotation.

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