All aboard: Costa Cruises

With its bright yellow funnel and big blue C no cruise ship in the world is as easily recognisable as a Costa Cruises ship. What began with a small vessel transporting passengers from Europe to South America in 1948, is now a leader in the cruise industry.

Founded in 1854 by Giacomo Costa under the name Giacomo Costa fu Andrea, the company originally operated cargo ships transporting olive oil and fabrics from Sardinia to Liguria.

In 1924 the control of the company was given to the sons of Giacomo Costa, who extended Costa’s activities to the shipowning sector with the acquisition of a small steamboat, Ravenna, followed by other vessels.

After World War II the company extended its operations to transporting passengers and changed its name to Linea C and sailed its first voyage – the Anna C, March 31, 1948 – from Genoa to Buenos Aires, transporting 164 passengers in first class and 604 in second. Later, in 1957, the Franca C became the first ship in the world built for cruising.

At the end of the seventies the Costa Group was hit by the financial crisis. As a result the company was restructured and transformed from a family-run company to a holding company. With most activities, such as those related to textile and food sectors, sold the company focused its interests solely on the cruise and freight transport sector. In 1986 the company was relaunched as Costa Crociere, transporting more than 160,000 passengers in its first year of activity. In 1995 Costa Cruises registered transported some 300,000 guests to all corners of the world.

In 2000 Costa Crociere was acquired by Carnival Corporation, a US group that brings together the major cruise companies in the world and defines itself as World’s Leading Cruise Lines.

On January 13, 2012 disaster struck as the Costa Concordia was shipwrecked in front of the port of the Isola del Giglio. The accident caused the death of 32 people and the partial sinking of the ship.

Today, as Costa Cruises Group, the company is one of the main operating companies in the Carnival group – Costa accounts for approximately 16% of Carnival Corporation’s revenue – with executive control of the group’s activities in Europe. The company is responsible for operation of Costa Cruises in Italy and AIDA Cruises in Germany.

The Costa Cruises brand currently operates nine cruise ships, all sailing under the Italian flag and providing cruise holidays in the Mediterranean, Northern Europe, the Caribbean, the Indian Ocean, the Middle East, South East Asia and South America.

Early 2019 the cruise line took delivery of Costa Venezia, the first Costa ship designed specifically for the Chinese market. In 2022 it was announced Costa Venezia will join the Carnival fleet, to be followed Costa Firenze (in service since July 2021) in the spring of 2024. In October 2019 Costa Smeralda was delivered, followed by Costa Toscana in December 2021. Toscana set sail on her inaugural cruise in March 2022. The new Costa ships are the first cruise ships for the global cruise market using LNG (liquefied natural petrol) for 100% of their energy both at port and at sea.

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4 thoughts on “All aboard: Costa Cruises

  1. I’m really keen to try a Costa cruise and they seem so cheap! Do you know if there are many hidden extras? How was your bill at the end?

    1. Hi Jenni, part from the great Italian food and very friendly crew, we did not find any other hidden extras than what you would expect on other cruise lines.
      We had a drink package included so we had no unexpected extras on our final bill. The only thing that we did not really like was that the buffet was not open long enough and the pizza restaurant is not included 😉
      Costa is Italian so very family orientated and they offers some great value for money cruising so you should definitely consider them for your next cruise adventure.

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