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Costa Cruises takes delivery of Costa Smeralda, its first ship powered by LNG

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As the brand’s new flagship, Costa Smeralda becomes its first vessel to use liquefied natural gas, an industry innovation that significantly reduces environmental impact. The first cruise departed from MedCruise member Savona on December 21, 2019.

Costa Cruises has taken delivery of Costa Smeralda, its new flagship powered by liquefied natural gas (LNG), the marine industry’s most advanced fuel technology and part of an innovative initiative to significantly reduce environmental impact. The handover ceremony took place today at the Meyer shipyard in Turku, Finland, where the ship was built.

Costa Smeralda is the first ship in the Costa fleet to use LNG, both in port and at sea. It is part of an expansion plan that includes an investment of over six billion euros for seven new ships to be delivered by 2023 to the Costa Group, which consists of Costa Cruises, Germany-based AIDA Cruises and Costa Asia. Five of the vessels – including Costa Smeralda and her sister ship Costa Toscana, currently under construction at Meyer Turku and scheduled for delivery in 2021 – will be powered by LNG. With the arrival of Costa Smeralda, the Costa Group fleet rises to a total of 29 ships in service, all flying the Italian flag, underscoring the company’s leadership in Europe and China.

The use of LNG is a major development in minimizing environmental impact and significantly improving air quality, with the virtual elimination of sulfur dioxide emissions (zero emissions) and particulate matter (95- 100% reduction). LNG also significantly reduces emissions of nitrogen oxide (direct reduction of 85%) and CO2 (reduction of up to 20%).

“Costa Smeralda will be a further boost to the use of LNG in cruise ships, a technology we were the first to believe in, setting a new course in the cruise sector. Our Costa Group has invested in the construction of five new LNG ships as part of our leadership in sustainable tourism. It is an innovation in the cruise and overall shipping industries, destined to mark a step change as it guarantees a significant reduction in our environmental impact without compromising the safety aspects that are an essential priority for us”,- said Neil Palomba, President of Costa Cruises. “Costa Smeralda is a significant product innovation as well, with Italian hospitality remaining a fundamental and distinctive element of our brand, able to enchant and excite not only new cruise passengers but also more experienced ones”.

We have used all our knowledge, skills and imagination to design and build this ship. I would especially like to mention the Colosseo, a three-deck open area in the middle of the ship with state-of-the-art audio-visual technology inside which required a specific design and building capabilities. We are looking forward to the passengers enjoying some exceptional shows and performances there” – stated CEO of Meyer Turku, Jan Meyer.

Costa Smeralda left the Turku shipyard on December 6 en route to the Mediterranean for three presentations with travel agents: Barcelona on December 18, where the ship was refueled with liquefied natural gas; Marseilles on December 19; and Savona on December 20. On December 21, Costa Smeralda left Savona for its first one-week cruise, calling at MedCruise members Marseilles, Barcelona, Palma de Mallorca, Civitavecchia and La Spezia.

Costa Smeralda is truly a traveling “smart city”. Apart from the major innovation of liquefied natural gas, the ship incorporates a series of cutting-edge technological innovations designed to further reduce environmental impact.

The daily water requirement is achieved directly from the sea thanks to the ship’s desalination systems. Energy consumption is reduced to a minimum by using LED lights, recovering the heat generated by the engines, the particular shape of the hull designed to significantly reduce drag in the water, and new- generation elevators that recover energy by re-introducing it into the electricity system.

Single-use plastic, which for some years has already been eliminated from Costa ships for most catering purposes and replaced with alternative materials, will gradually be reduced well in advance of the European Directive objectives. One hundred percent separate waste collection and recycling of materials, including plastic, paper, glass and aluminum, will be part of an integrated approach designed to support circular economy projects.

Close attention will be paid to food on Costa Smeralda. The brand’s 4GOODFOOD program is dedicated to reducing food waste and recovering surpluses for social purposes. In addition, the new ship will feature the innovations of the LAB Laboratorio del Gusto Restaurant — which takes an entertaining approach to involving guests in food sustainability.

With over 180,000 gross tonnage and over 2,600 rooms, Costa Smeralda is the result of a unique creative project led by Adam D. Tihany, created to immerse guests in experiencing Italy’s finest all in one place. Tihany relied on an international pool of four prestigious architecture firms commissioned to design the various areas of the ship. All of the furnishings, lighting, fabrics and accessories are made in Italy, either standard produced or designed specifically for the new flagship by 15 partners who represent Italian excellence. Italian design will also star in the CoDe – Costa Design Museum, the first museum created on a cruise ship. The extraordinary environment also features the Solemio Spa; various entertainment areas, including the Colosseum, with its screens for high-tech content shows; themed bars, in collaboration with major Italian brands; 16 restaurants and “food experience” areas, including a new restaurant for families with children.