Naming Ceremony Held for Costa Smeralda

Source: Costa Cruises
Source: Costa Cruises

Published Feb 24, 2020 6:06 PM by The Maritime Executive

A naming ceremony was held on Saturday in Savona, Italy, for Costa Smeralda, Costa Cruises' new LNG-fuelled flagship.

The ship's godmother was international celebrity Penélope Cruz, who performed the ribbon-cutting duties with the traditional breaking of the bottle against the bow of the ship in the presence of the Master of Costa Smeralda, Paolo Benini.

The new 180,000GT vessel was built in the Meyer Turku shipyard in Finland. The ship is designed as a "travelling smart city" where sustainable technologies and circular economy concepts are applied to reduce her environmental footprint. On board, desalination plants process seawater directly to meet daily water supply requirements, and energy consumption is reduced to a minimum through the use of an intelligent energy management system. The ship has a heat recovery system, a low-drag hull design, elevators that recover energy by regenerative braking and efficient LED lighting.

Waste is managed on board with 100 percent separate collection for recycling of plastic, paper, glass and aluminum. Finally, the 4GOODFOOD program applied on board is designed to reduce food waste and to recover food surpluses for social betterment in cooperation with the European Federation of Food Banks.

The Costa Group intends to achieve a 40 percent reduction in its fleet’s CO2 emissions by 2020, some 10 years ahead of the target laid down by the IMO. The Group has ordered five new LNG-fueled ships, two of which – Costa Smeralda and AIDAnova – are already in service. The hull assembly of Costa Toscana, a 185,000 gross tonnage LNG-powered cruise ship began in January at Meyer Turku shipyard. Costa Toscana is expected to enter service in late summer of 2021.

The ships are part of the Costa Group's fleet expansion plan, with a total of seven new ships slated for delivery by 2023 and an overall investment worth over €6 billion ($6.5 billion).

Costa Smeralda entered service on December 21, 2019. She is operating on a one-week itinerary in the Western Mediterranean with calls at Savona, Marseille, Barcelona, Palma de Mallorca, Civitavecchia/Rome and La Spezia. This summer, she will also be calling at Cagliari, and a stopover in Palermo is planned starting in winter 2021/22.

In Costa’s main homeport of Savona, 900,000 passengers are forecast in 2020, a year-on-year increase of around 30 percent.