Costa Cruises Returns To The Port Of Genoa: Starting from today Costa Fortuna will be calling at Genoa every week untill November
Costa Cruises ships return to making regular calls at the port of Genoa. The first to arrive today at the Andrea Doria deck was Costa Fortuna, a 103,000 gross tons ship accommodating 3,470 total guests. She will depart from Genoa every Friday, until November 8, to offer 1-week cruises in the western Mediterranean.
Costa will call at Genoa a total of 40 times in 2019, including 34 stopovers by Costa Fortuna and others by a further three ships in the fleet, in the spring and fall, expecting to generate a total of 170,000 passenger movements.
Costa Cruises has already confirmed Genoa for 2020 as well. Costa Fortuna will be replaced by Costa Pacifica (114.000 gross tons and 3,780 total guests), which will make its inaugural call on March 23, 2020 and then return to Genoa every Friday until November 13, 2020. There will still be 40 stopovers, with a slight increase in the number of passengers expected, given the use of a bigger ship.
For Costa Fortuna and Costa Pacifica this will be a real “homecoming”, given that the ships were built by Fincantieri in Sestri Ponente-Genoa shipyard and launched in Genoa.
“We are particularly glad and proud, after so many years, to celebrate the return of a Costa ship that will now call regularly at Genoa” – said Neil Palomba, President of Costa Cruises – “This return completes our presence in the city, where we have operated through our head office for over 70 years, and is a starting point for the future. In fact, we are planning to build a new cruise terminal in the port of Genoa, on which we are continuing to work with local institutions to identify the best solution. The new Genoa terminal will add to the Palacrociere terminal in Savona, our main homeport, where we are making significant investments, and La Spezia where, together with other companies, we have been awarded a preliminary contract to manage cruise services and build a new terminal. I would like to thank Liguria Region’s President, Giovanni Toti, the Mayor of Genoa, Marco Bucci, and the President of the Western Ligurian Sea Port Authority, Paolo Emilio Signorini, for their support. I am sure that our collaboration will lead to further positive results”.
Paolo Emilio Signorini, President of the Western Ligurian Sea Port Authority, said: “Genoa and Savona rank as one of the leading cruise hubs in the Western Mediterranean and, together with Marseilles and Barcelona, have the potential to boost further passenger throughput, thanks to the presence of the major cruise liners in the ports. In our capacity as Port Authority, we are firmly committed to implementing our investment programmes, with the objective of developing all the port basins and catering for all traffic requirements, with specific focus on the cruise industry and, in particular, in compliance with the demands of ship upsizing on the part of the cruise liners both in Genoa and Savona. I wish to extend my sincere thanks to Costa Cruises for having supported us in our goals and objectives, and for having made the decision to reposition the Costa Fortuna in the Port of Genoa with weekly departures, and to inaugurate the new Costa Smeralda flagship in Savona next November.”
Costa Fortuna’s first cruise from Genoa is a 3-day mini-cruise to Marseilles and Barcelona, returning to Genoa on March 29.
From then until November 8, the ship will return to Genoa every Friday, from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., for two different itineraries. In the spring and fall, in addition to Genoa, the ship will visit Marseilles, Barcelona, Valencia, Civitavecchia/Rome and La Spezia; in the summer, the program includes Marseilles, Tarragona, Palma de Mallorca, a day and a night in Ibiza, and Olbia. During the stopover in Genoa, Costa Fortuna will offer its guests no fewer than nine new excursions, which will contribute to further promoting the city and the surrounding area. New developments include city walks to discover the fortresses of Genoa, the Righi adventure park, Genoa by Segway, the Genoa “ghost tour”, a walking tour of Genoa of the Knights Templar and “Super Genova”, a full day excursion from Boccadasse to the old town, with lunch at the Imperial Palace.
Genoa will therefore become a fully fledged home port of the Costa Cruises fleet, which already plays a primary role in a further two Ligurian ports. In total, the Costa Group will guarantee 243 stopovers in Liguria in 2019, equivalent to around 1,200,000 passenger movements.
Savona is currently Costa’s main port. The company and the Western Ligurian Sea Port Authority are making major investments for the arrival of the new flagship Costa Smeralda, Costa’s first ship fueled by LNG, which will be named in the port of Savona on November 3, 2019. These investments amount to a total of over 20 million euros. The Western Ligurian Sea Port Authority is dredging the seabed opposite the main cruise terminal dock to increase the depth from the current -9 m to -11 m, after the structure has been strengthened. The total cost of the work is estimated to be 16 million euros. Costa Cruises is investing a total of 4.5 million euros in the purchase of two new embarkation gangways (fingers) and adapting the Palacrociere terminal structure, with a reorganization of the spaces and flows. The work will not compromise the operation of the port, which expects to receive 164 stopovers in 2019, equivalent to 750,000 passenger movements.
In La Spezia, Costa Cruises, together with other companies, has been awarded a preliminary concession to manage the port’s cruise services, which also provides for the construction of the new cruise terminal. For the first part of the 2019 season, while the necessary formal checks are carried out by the Eastern Ligurian Sea Port Authority, Costa Cruises will operate the services itself in line with the contract terms already in force last year.
In 2019, Costa Group ships will call at La Spezia 50 times, including 29 stopovers by AIDAnova, the new flagship of AIDA Cruises, the Costa Group’s German company, with an expected 250,000 passenger movements.