Construction work has begun on Costa Smeralda, the new cruise ship for Italian cruise line Costa Cruises. The new vessel will be the brand’s first ship powered by liquefied natural gas (LNG) and the world’s first cruise ship to be broadly marketed to consumers from multiple countries throughout Europe.
With a name that pays tribute to the Emerald Coast (or Costa Smeralda) in northern Sardinia in the Mediterranean – an area widely known as one of the world’s most beautiful and famous destinations and natural environments – Costa Smeralda is part of a strategic plan from Carnival Corporation & plc to build seven LNG-powered ships.
Costa Smeralda, which will enter service in October 2019, will exceed 180,000 gross tons and offer more than 2,600 passenger cabins for a total of about 6,600 passengers onboard. A second ship, sister to Costa Smeralda, will be delivered in 2021. The two new Costa Cruises ships will be powered both in port and on the open sea by LNG, the world’s cleanest burning fossil fuel.
“These ships will strengthen the leadership position for the Costa Group, which is already the market leader in all the major continental Europe markets. The multibillion dollar contract with Meyer, which also includes two new LNG-powered ships to be built for our German brand AIDA Cruises, reflects our strategy of constantly innovating our vacation offerings and providing our guests with an unmatched cruise experience.”
– Michael Thamm, CEO Costa Group and Carnival Asia.
The use of LNG is a major innovation in terms of environmental impact, as it will significantly reduce exhaust gas emissions, in particular sulphur (SO2), nitrogen (NO2), CO2 and particulate matter.
“The two new Costa Cruises ships are a true global innovation and set new standards for the entire sector. They will be among the first cruise ships powered by LNG, spurring the development of this green technology, especially in the Mediterranean area, and they will be the world’s first LNG-powered ships that will be marketed to consumers from multiple countries, including Italy, France, Spain, Germany and Switzerland. The new ships will also offer unique services and present a state-of-the-art interior design, serving as the perfect expression of our Italy’s Finest concept, which is a distinguishing feature of the Costa Cruises brand around the world for providing guests with a truly immersive Italian experience.”
– Neil Palomba, president of Costa Cruises
Costa Smeralda is set to offer cruises in the Western Mediterranean, which will be on sale beginning early 2018.