The rusted hulk of what was once the Costa Concordia made its final journey to a dry dock in Italy where it will be cut up and recycled once and for all.
On Thursday a team of five tugboats helped transfer what remains of the cruise ship across the harbor in Genoa to a Dry Dock No. 4 where the final phase of the dismantling and recycling project will take place.
Since May 2015, the Costa Concordia has been moored at the Molo Ex Superbacino dock in the Port of Genoa where crews have been working to dismantle the once-luxurious cruise ship from the top deck down and restore buoyancy to the hull. The process has also allowed crews to remove the 30 sponsons that were attached to the ship during the parbuckling, refloating, and towing operations.
The vessel was hardly recognizable as it made its way across the harbor on Thursday.
The Costa Concordia’s final journey comes nearly 4 years after the cruise ship capsized and partially sank along the pristine shores of Giglio, Italy, killing 32 passengers and setting off the largest maritime salvage operation in history. Once completed, the salvage operation is estimated to cost well over $1 billion.
The consortium in charge of the dismantling project, led by Italian oil and gas industry contractor Saipem, said the final dismantling operations will involve the complete disassembly of the wreck, comprising of the removal of remaining interior fittings, clean-up of areas, and final demolition of all the remaining structures. The phase will conclude with appropriate handling, disposal and recycling of the discarded materials, expected sometime in early 2017.
More than 200 technicians have been working to dismantle the wreck since its arrival in Genoa in July 2014.