Costa Concordia, the cruise ship that struck rocks of the coast of Giglio, Italy, and partially sank, killing 32 people in January 2012, has become a tourist attraction since being towed to Genoa to be dismantled.
News outlets are reporting boat operators are being paid to take tourists on rides past the ship that will be scrapped during the next two years at the same port where it was built in 2005. The 950-foot-long vessel is being cut up to salvage millions of pounds of copper, steel and other materials in the $150 million operation.
Restaurants and hotels nearby in Genoa also are advertising seating and accommodations with the best views of the tragic ship. Personally, I would find it a genuine curiosity should I happen to be in Genoa. But I wouldn't seek out a special view of the ship or make the trip to the town just to see it.
I suppose it seems a bit gruesome now to consider the vessel a tourist attraction. However, I expect the site where Costa sank off Giglio will become at least a minor attraction; a memorial for the 32 killed is to be constructed from a piece of the rock that was wedged into the hull.
Deals and more . . .
Princess Cruises is offering a "3 for Free" promotion until November 20, 2014, for passengers who book sailings to Japan, Alaska and Europe in 2015. The deal allows free stateroom location upgrades, a shore excursion credit and onboard spending credit. You can book with a fully refundable deposit of $100 per person.
Jump on this deal and you get the best stateroom available within your stateroom type for the lowest possible fare. On Europe and Japan sailings, you get $200 to spend on shore excursions such as a visit to the Hermitage in St. Petersburg, Russia, or a stroll through Kyoto's Golden Pavilion in Japan. In Alaska, you receive $100 per cabin. Perhaps you want to try glacier hiking, dog sledding or whale watching. In addition, for Europe or Japan cruises, you get up to $100 per stateroom in onboard spending money. It's up to $50 per stateroom for Alaska sailings. Check Princess.com/free for details.
Windstar Cruises announced it has partnered with SAVEUR, a leading epicurean brand for culinary travel content, to develop a collection of local dining tips for culinary travelers seeking out unique cuisine destinations. The tips for more than 20 global destinations include insider advice on where to find the tastiest restaurants, most unique markets, authentic shops and hidden watering holes.
Because the food is half the fun (or more?) on a travel adventure, we think this is a cool idea.
"From eating fried sardines at Istanbul's Karakoy Fish Market to seeking out the go-to coffee shop in Ho Chi Minh City, SAVEUR will help guide those looking for the best culinary experiences abroad," said Hans Birkholz, Windstar Cruises' CEO. "We are excited to bring our guests even closer to exploring the world of food in the destinations we sail to throughout the world."
Viking River Cruises welcomes In The Loop Travel onboard the Viking Longship Mani this week, where I will be sending out updates and reviews of our weeklong trip up the Rhine from Basel, Switzerland, to Amsterdam. Follow along on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram under the hashtag #VikingRiver.