Costa Cruises has taken delivery of the Costa Smeralda, the brand’s first cruise ship powered by cleaner burning liquefied natural gas.
Costa Cruises is the Italian cruise brand of Carnival Corporation, the world’s largest cruise company.
The handover ceremony took place at the Meyer Werft shipyard in Turku, Finland, where the ship was built.
With the delivery, Costa Smeralda becomes Carnival Corporation’s fourth new ship of 2019 and its second LNG-powered ship.
Costa Smeralda is the first of two new sister ships for Costa Cruises that can be powered in port and at sea by LNG. The second vessel, Costa Toscana, is currently under construction at Meyer Turku and scheduled to be delivered in 2021.
In addition to the Costa Smeralda and the launch of AIDAnova at the end of 2018, Carnival Corporation has an additional nine next-generation LNG-powered cruise ships on order with expected delivery dates for these new ships between 2020 and 2025.
“Costa Smeralda will be a further boost to the use of LNG in cruise ships, a technology our company has pioneered in the cruise sector,” said Neil Palomba, president of Costa Cruises, which has represented Italian style and hospitality for more than 70 years. “It is an exciting evolution in maritime transport, as it guarantees a significant reduction in our environmental impact.”
Costa Smeralda will depart Turku shipyard in Finland on December 6 for the Mediterranean, where it will be refueled with LNG in Barcelona on December 18, followed by calls to Marseille and Savona. On December 21, Costa Smeralda will depart Savona for its maiden voyage to Marseille, Barcelona, Palma de Mallorca, Civitavecchia and La Spezia.
Costa Smeralda is Carnival Corporation’s fourth ship to debut in 2019 following Carnival Cruise Line’s Carnival Panorama, Princess Cruises’ Sky Princess and Costa Cruises’ Costa Venezia, which is Carnival Corporation’s first ship designed and built specifically for the Chinese market.