Costa Cruises Takes Delivery of LNG-Fueled Costa Smeralda

Costa Smeralda (image courtesy Costa Cruises)

By The Maritime Executive 12-05-2019 05:35:26

On Thursday, Carnival cruise brand Costa Cruises took delivery of the Costa Smeralda, Costa's new flagship and its first LNG-powered vessel. The handover ceremony was held at the Meyer Turku shipyard in Finland. Costa Smeralda is Carnival Corporation's fourth new ship delivery this year and its second LNG-powered ship after the AIDA brand's new AIDAnova, the world's first LNG-fueled cruise ship. 

Costa Smeralda is the first of two new LNG-fueled sister ships for Costa Cruises. The second vessel, Costa Toscana, is currently under construction at Meyer Turku and scheduled for delivery in 2021.

"Costa Smeralda will be a further boost to the use of LNG in cruise ships, a technology our company has pioneered in the cruise sector," said Neil Palomba, president of Costa Cruises. "It is an exciting evolution in maritime transport, as it guarantees a significant reduction in our environmental impact. Costa Smeralda is a significant product innovation as well, with Italian hospitality remaining a fundamental and distinctive element of our brand, able to enchant and excite not only new cruise passengers but also more experienced ones."

Costa Smeralda incorporates a series of cutting-edge technological innovations designed to further support environmentally friendly operations. The ship has a heat recovery system, a low-drag hull design, elevators that recover energy by regenerative braking and efficient LED lighting. Operationally, the ship will minimize the use of single-use plastics and will maximize recycling. The Costa brand's 4GOODFOOD program, which is dedicated to reducing food waste and recovering surpluses for social purposes, will also be implemented on Costa Smeralda. 

Costa Smeralda's interior design is Italian-focused, and all of its furnishings, lighting, fabrics and accessories were made in Italy. Italian design also stars in the vessel's Costa Design Museum, the first museum created on a cruise ship. 

Costa Smeralda is scheduled to depart Meyer Turku tomorrow for the Mediterranean, where it will be refueled with LNG in Barcelona on December 18, followed by port calls for travel agent tours in Marseille and Savona. On December 21, Costa Smeralda will depart Savona for her maiden voyage, a weeklong cruise calling at Marseille, Barcelona, Palma de Mallorca, Civitavecchia and La Spezia.

In addition to Costa Smeralda, Costa Toscana and AIDAnova, Carnival Corporation has eight more LNG-powered cruise ships on order with expected delivery dates between 2020 and 2025. Carnival has made a large investment in exhaust gas scrubber retrofits for its existing fleet, which will allow legacy vessels to continue to operate on HFO, and it is building out its compliance team in order to ensure that its brands consistently meet MARPOL requirements.