currently has the world's largest ship order book, it has been revealed.
Sailing in the face of the economic downturn, Costa has five new ships in the pipeline, with three due to be launched next year.
Speaking this week, the cruise line said it carried more than a million cruise passengers last year a record for a European operator.
"In 2008 Costa Cruises was, for the second year running, the only European cruise line to exceed the record figure of 1,000,000 total guests in just 12 months," it said.
According to the cruise line, one in every five European passengers chooses to sail with Costa, with the company planning to increase its share to 1.5 million passengers annually by 2010.
Despite the credit crunch, Costa said it has continued to "record significant and encouraging performances".
In other Costa news, the cruise line recently announced that it has installed its iconic blue and yellow funnel on the Costa Deliziosa, which is set to launch next year.
Written by Fiona Mayers