The ship’s godmother was international celebrity Penélope Cruz, who performed the ribbon-cutting duties with the traditional breaking of the bottle against the bow of the ship in the presence of the Master of Costa Smeralda, Paolo Benini.
Delivered to Costa Cruises by Finnish shipbuilder Meyer Turku in December last year, the ship has been described as a “travelling smart city” where sustainable technologies and circular economy concepts are applied to reduce the environmental footprint and support sustainable cruising.
With its technological propulsion system based on LNG, the most advanced fuel technology currently available to reduce emissions, the cruise ship is able to virtually eliminate sulfur dioxide emissions and particulate matter while greatly reducing emissions of nitrogen oxides and CO2. On board, special desalinisation plants process seawater directly to meet daily water supply requirements, and energy consumption is reduced to a minimum thanks to an intelligent energy management system.
“It is a pleasure to officially welcome Costa Smeralda to our fleet,” Michael Thamm, Group CEO of Costa Group, which includes Costa, Germany’s brand, AIDA Cruises, and Carnival Asia, said.
“(W)e are committed to being the first to introduce environmental innovation and lead the way in sustainable cruising for the cruise industry. We were the first company to invest in LNG and we are currently working to develop other sustainable technologies such as battery storage, fuel cells and liquefied gas from renewable energy sources.”
The Costa Group was the first cruise operator in the world to pioneer the LNG propulsion system and has ordered a total of five new LNG-fueled ships, two of which – Costa Smeralda and AIDAnova – are already in service. They are 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 EUR 6 billion (USD 6.5 billion).
Costa Smeralda entered service on December 21, 2019, and is operating on a one-week itinerary in the Western Mediterranean with calls at Savona, Marseille, Barcelona, Palma de Mallorca, Civitavecchia/Rome and La Spezia.
TURKISH MARITIME NEWS