Carnival Corporation recently announced it is selling 13 ships from its fleet this year. This includes four ships from Holland America Line and P&O Cruises’ Oceana. Costa neoRomantica is the second ship from the Costa fleet that is sold following the COVID-19 outbreak. But while Costa Victoria was sold for scrap, Costa neoRomantica will get a new lease on life with Celestyal cruises.
Costa Romantica, as the ship was originally named, was constructed by Italian shipbuilder Fincantieri at their yard in Marghera, Italy. Construction of the ship took a major step when her keel was laid down on 23 April 1992, resulting in its launch on 28 November 1992. Costa Romantica was completed on 25 September 1993 and entered service in November of the same year.
The ship was completely renovated in 2012. The €90 million makeover at the San Giorgio del Porto shipyard in Genoa, included the addition of two new half-decks along with 111 cabins and suites with balconies. With the number of cabins going from 678 to 789, capacity was increased from 1,697 to 1,800 passengers. Gross tonnage increased from 53,000 to approximately 56,000.
The modification of the ship´s interior included the addition of a wine bar, coffee bar, show lounge bar, Samsara Spa and 50 Samsara Spa cabins and six Spa Suites. After the refurbishment the ship was renamed Costa neoRomantica. The reborn vessel started her first journey in March 2012.
In early 2017, Costa neoRomantica joined Costa Victoria, Atlantica, Serena and Fortuna in Hong Kong to operate cruises in the Asia market. In February 2018, Costa neoRomantica was turned into a catwalk for The J Winter Fashion Show 2018 setting in Hong Kong.
Following the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic earlier this year, cruises from China on Costa neoRomantica were cancelled. While awaiting permission to sail, the vessel remained in Vietnam and the surrounding region.
A new lease on life
Celestyal Cruises recently announced they acquired NeoRomantica from Italian cruise line Costa.
Celestyal Cruises is the main home-porting cruise operator in Greece and the preeminent cruise line serving the Greek Islands and East Mediterranean. The company operates two mid-sized vessels – Celestyal Crystal which is 25,611 gross tons and Celestyal Olympia at 37,584 gross tons.
While COVID-19 has brought a temporary pause to Celestyal Cruises´ operations – the cruise line has suspended its sailings until March 6, 2021 – the Greek cruise line is looking to the future with the acquisition of Costa neoRomantica. Celestyal Cruises CEO Chris Theophilides said: ¨I’m delighted with the addition of this mid-size cruise vessel to our fleet. I’m confident that she will prove to be a very popular choice amongst our valued guests and will allow us to continue providing truly unique experiences for years to come.”