Costa Atlantica departed Shanghai on March 1 on what Costa Cruises describes as the first world cruise by a ship specially for the Chinese market.
The voyage will span 86 days and 28 destinations in 18 countries.
Costa Group CEO Michael Thamm was among the group of dignitaries on hand to see the ship off.
Given the Chinese preference for short itineraries, the launch of a world cruise is a particular milestone. The Atlantica will visit a number of destinations in the Mediterranean and the United States, including a three-day call in New York and a two-day stopover in Los Angeles.