"The attractive pricing we have in the marketplace is clearly stimulating demand, especially for the Costa brand," the parent company, Costa Carnival's chairman
, Micky Arison, said Friday. He said bookings are up a full 25 percent over this time last year.
The company saw a significant downturn in sales in the aftermath of the Jan. 13th disaster, when the cruise ship was taken too close to the shore of the island of Giglio in the Tuscan Bay and hit a reef and half-sank. Of the more than 4200 passengers and crew onboard, 32 died, though only 30 bodies have been recovered to date.
Costa Cruises: Bookings Growth
Despite so many dieing and the fact the tragedy may be the fault of the ship's captain, Francesco Schettino, under house arrest near Naples awaiting trial on multiple charges, the cruise line is bouncing back. "We are pleased to see the resurgence in consumer demand for Costa, which is a testament to the brand's long-standing reputation for quality built over many decades," Arison said in his written statement.
Meanwhile, the partially sunken Costa Concordia continues to sit about 300 metres off the shore of Giglio. Two companies, Titan Salvage of the U.S. and Micoperi of Italy, are leading the operation to refloat the boat. Once back floating the Costa Concordia will be sailed to a port and scrapped. It's expected to take until next spring to complete the $300 million operation.