Rome - During the event “Sea Protagonists 2014” (annual event for the partner travel agencies of Costa Cruises held on board the Costa Luminosa from May 11th to the 14th) Michael Thamm, CEO of Costa Cruises, has announced a realignment of the group’s strategy in the Spanish market. There will be additional investment in the Costa brand in order to accelerate growth and consolidate the position of the group within the country. The Ibero Cruises brand will be phased out and will be integrated into the Costa brand. At the end of 2014, after an ugprade, “Grand Celebration” will be transferred to the Costa fleet under the name “Costa Celebration”. Along the year, nonetheless, Ibero Cruises will continue to operate normally. One point of interest: the Grand Celebration was seen in Venice with the hull painted white as all Costa ships. The Costa group will expand and strengthen the range of the brand in Spain. Costa will invest more in order to become the most admired brand among Spanish customers and the best partner for travel agents. The group’s expansion plan in Spain is already in progress: “Costa Diadema”, the next flagship of the fleet, will take on passengers at Barcelona from November 10th 2014 and it will travel throughout 2015. Costa will increase the number of stops in Spanish ports – in 2014, there will be 6% more than in 2013. Carnival Corporation – which is where Costa belongs as a subsidiary – has recently announced an investment of over 20 million euros for the new reception facilities at the Barcelona port. Future plans also include the “Grand Holiday” ship that may be either sold by the end of the year, or reassigned to another brand within the Carnival group.