The minute you step on board Costa Venezia, you would be struck by its very obvious European styling, in particular the Italian decor, paintings and furnishing. But that is because the ship is specially designed to bring a taste of Italy and a touch of Venice to its passengers.

With a length of 323m and a capacity for 5,200 guests, this is Costa Group’s largest and newest ship for the Asian market. The ship recently made its maiden call to Port Klang in Selangor; it was on day 36 of its 53-day Marco Polo Voyage through the Mediterranean, Middle East, South-East Asia and Far East. The ship and crew were welcomed by Malaysian Minister of Transport Anthony Loke, at Port Klang.

Costa Group Asia deputy country manager for Japan, Korea and South-East Asia Roberto Verdino said: “While Costa Venezia offers an authentic Italian experience, with interiors that are inspired by the city of Venice, many of the facilities and restaurants are specially catered to Asian guests.”

The ship’s theatre, Teatro Rosso, is inspired by the renowned Teatro La Fenice, while the main atrium is reminiscent of Piazza San Marco, both of which are in Venice. You can even find actual gondolas on board the ship!

Guests can enjoy regional Italian cuisine at one of its three main restaurants, or go for some fine dining fare at Restaurant Casanova. There’s Asian food galore, too, such as hotpot, teppanyaki, dimsum and noodles. There are more than a dozen restaurants and cafes around, as well as 11 lounges and bars.

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Asia’s exclusive Juventus Football Club at sea, on board Costa Venezia, offers facilities like an outdoor soccer field. Photo: The Star/Ming Teoh

Need some pampering session? Check out the beauty space – said to be the largest at sea with over 233sq m of space – which features 30 international brands like Cle de Peau Beaute and Hermes (first-at-sea), Yves Saint Laurent, La Prairie, Bvlgari, Chanel, Dior, La Mer and SK-II.

Asian beauty brands such as Dr Jart+, Sulwhasoo, and The History of Whoo are also available on board. The Merchant of Venice, a perfumer that pays homage to Venetian culture, makes its debut at sea and in Asia. There is also an aesthetics doctor on board to perform non-invasive facial treatments for beauty-conscious guests.

For shopping, Costa Venezia offers some of the world’s most renowned brands, including Italy’s own Salvatore Ferragamo and Bvlgari, Cartier, Jaeger-LeCoultre and Mikimoto. Shopping on board is tax and duty free, by the way.

There are nightly shows and performances like Venezia Innamorata, a musical inspired by the love stories of Venetian author and adventurer Giacomo Casanova. You can also attend themed parties such as the Golden Party and Carnival of Venice masked ball.

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The gigantic water slide from the upper deck of the ship. Photo: The Star/Ming Teoh

Football fans can enjoy Asia’s exclusive Juventus Football Club at sea as well as a 360° Italian football experience with special facilities, including an outdoor football field, an indoor academy, a museum showcasing trophies and memorabilia from as far back as the 1970s, magazine photos from all eras, jerseys and signed shoes from the club’s successful seasons. There’s also a retail shop selling limited edition merchandise.

Besides all that, the ship also offers both indoor and outdoor swimming pools and jacuzzis, an aqua park, mini golf course, high-rope garden, outdoor fitness facilities, clubs for teens and kids, and more.

Best of all, there is a karaoke and a mahjong centre on board, too.