Costa Smeralda, the first ship in the Costa fleet to be fueled by LNG, will leave Savona tomorrow on her inaugural cruise in the Mediterranean
Today’s first call at the port of Savona marks the official entry into service of Costa Smeralda, Costa Cruises’ new flagship powered by liquefied natural gas (LNG), a low impact fossil fuel that constitutes an environmental breakthrough for the entire cruise industry.
Costa Smeralda is the first ship in the Costa fleet to be powered both in port and at sea by LNG, meaning improved air quality and protecting the environment with the virtual elimination of sulfur dioxide emissions (zero emissions) and particulate matter (95-100% reduction). The use of LNG will also greatly lessen emissions of nitrogen oxides (85% direct reduction) and CO2 (reduction of up to 20%).
Costa Smeralda is 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. Of these new additions, five – including Costa Smeralda and her sister ship Costa Toscana scheduled to enter service in 2021 – will be fueled by LNG.
The Costa Group was the first cruise operator in the world to introduce this ground-breaking innovation in favor of sustainability, which is set to substantially reduce the whole fleet’s environmental impact. More specifically, the Italian cruise company intends to achieve a 40% reduction in its fleet’s CO2 emissions by 2020, some 10 years ahead of the target laid down by IMO (International Maritime Organization).
The new flagship, which is over 180,000 gross tonnage and was built in the Meyer Turku shipyard in Finland, will be sailing tomorrow from Savona on her maiden cruise in the Mediterranean. The one-week itinerary includes calls in Marseille, Barcelona, Palma de Mallorca, Civitavecchia and La Spezia.
“With the entry into service of Costa Smeralda, the use of LNG for cruise ships has become more and more a reality, bringing immediate tangible benefits in terms of reduced environmental impact. The Costa Group was the first to believe in this technology and we’re investing in the construction of some five new LNG-fueled ships, thus advancing on the path towards increasingly sustainable tourism,” said Costa Cruises President Neil Palomba. “Costa Smeralda is an unprecedented project, also because she combines environmental innovation with product innovation, offering holiday experiences the likes of which have never been seen before, albeit while retaining Italian hospitality as the basic distinguishing feature of our brand.”
Thanks to the entry into service of Costa Smeralda, and of Costa Toscana in 2021, the Costa Group will further boost the economic impact generated in Italy. In 2018, this output amounted to €3.5 billion with 17,000 jobs created. In 2020 it is expected that there will be approximately 450 new hires added to the Italian employees working in the hospitality sector on the Costa fleet’s cruise ships. Also particularly significant will be the growth in direct expenditure by guests during stopovers, with an average of €74.60 per passenger in every European port visited by the company’s ships. For example, in Costa’s main homeport of Savona, 900,000 passengers are forecast in 2020, a year-on-year increase of around 30%.
Costa Smeralda is the result of a one-off creative project designed by Adam D. Tihany, the central idea being to convey and celebrate Italy’s finest all in one location. Tihany led an international team comprising four prestigious architectural firms – Dordoni Architetti, Rockwell Group, Jeffrey Beers International and Partner Ship Design – who were called on to design the various areas on board. The furnishings, lighting, fabrics and upholstery, and accessories were all made in Italy especially for the new flagship by 15 partners who are all ambassadors of Italian excellence. What’s more, the tribute to Italian design is showcased in the CoDe – Costa Design Museum, the first-ever museum on a cruise ship.
The amenities on board are perfectly in line with their sumptuous surroundings: highlights include the Solemio Spa; the entertainment areas, like the Colosseo with its video walls screening hi-tech, digital shows; theme bars in collaboration with leading Italian brands; 16 restaurants and “food experience” areas, notably the new eatery specifically conceived for casual family dining. Costa Smeralda will also offer “Adagio Tours”, a one-of-a-kind project resulting from the partnership between Costa Cruises, AISM (the Italian Multiple Sclerosis association) and Costa Crociere Foundation. These shore excursions are designed to meet the needs of all Costa’s guests who want to enjoy their chosen destinations at a slower pace; Adagio Tours are particularly suitable for people with disabilities, parents with toddlers in strollers and the elderly.
The arrival of Costa Smeralda brings to 29 the number of the Costa Group’s ships currently in service, confirming its leadership in Europe and China. All the fleet members fly the Italian flag.