Cruise with soccer star Pelé in June

costaserenaextSoccer aficionados may enjoy a Mediterranean getaway aboard the Costa Serena on an exclusive cruise dedicated to Edson Arantes Do Nascimento, better known as “Pelé,” the “O’ Rey” (the King) of world soccer. Departing from Venice on June 28, the “Pele Cruise — Sabor Brazil,” is an exclusive event on the Costa Serena. While onboard, soccer fans may attend conferences held by presidents of soccer confederations and clubs as well as by other big names from the sports and media world.

“During my career as a footballer, I was often far from my family and my friends, but I have never forgotten the special atmosphere and the unique flavors of my country,” said Pelé. “When I began to feel homesick, what I wanted the most was to be able to experience the traditions and customs of my beloved Brazil. The Costa Serena cruise, during which everything will be focused on Brazil, will spread joy throughout the entire Eastern Mediterranean, with stops in Italy, Croatia and Greece. I look forward to seeing all of the guests onboard.”

The cruise program, based on “brasileñi” (Brazilian) rhythms, atmospheres and flavors, will feature parties, festivities and musical shows involving great Brazilian performers such as Alexandre Pires, Toquinho and the Grupo Sereno.

Gastronomy will also take center stage, with events inspired by Brazilian delicacies, including theme parties, such as “Brasíl en Alta Mar.” There will also be an exhibition of historic collectors’ items tied to some of the great moments in Pelé’s life, with never-before seen video clips. It will be a true Brazilian-style cruise filled with soccer, samba and “feijoada” in the spotlight, and of course, delicious caipiriñas.

The Costa Serena (114,500 tons; 3,000 dbl occ) came into service in May 2007 as Costa’s newest flagship. Two more new ships — the Costa Luminosa and Costa Pacifica — are due for delivery at the end of April and the end of May 2009, and will be christened together in Genoa, Italy on June 5 this year. Three additional ships are on order.

The cruise, which departs from Venice on June 28, will feature stops in Bari, Katakolon (Olympia), Izmir (Ephesus), Istanbul and Dubrovnik. Fares begin at $1,199 per person. For more information, visit www.pelecruise.com.

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