Announcing the name of NB-1394, Costa Cruises’ president Neil Palomba said, ‘The two new Costa Cruises ships are a true innovation and set new standards for the entire sector. They will be among the first cruise ships powered by LNG, spurring the development of this green technology.’
Carnival Corp sister brand AIDA Cruises laid the keel of its first fully LNG-fuelled ship last week at Meyer’s Papenburg yard.
Meyer Turku, ceo, Jan Meyer referred to Costa Smerlada as, ‘a really fresh and new design fused with the latest of technology. We are happy to bring our experience with building LNG powered passenger ships to bear. ‘
Meyer added, ‘at 183,900gt, Costa Smeralda is also a step up in ship size – we need the new facilities to answer to the demand of our customers and to increase our competitiveness for the future.’
Palomba told Seatrade Cruise News, the ship name was chosen thanks to an agreement between Costa and the Costa Smeralda Consortium, which will see other joint initiatives taking place over the coming months.
The Costa Smeralda Consortium was established in 1962 with the aim of coordinating the urban and residential planning of the Costa Smeralda area to ensure that it is balanced and to make the most of its potential for tourism.
‘We decided to name the ship after Smeralda (or Emerald Coast), Sardinia’s main tourist area and a beautiful destination in Italy,’ he said.
“But this isn't the only reason that this name was chosen. The Consortium's commitment to sustainability issues and practices has meant we have found common ground between us on many fronts. So it is with great honour that our ship Costa Smeralda will represent the beauty of this great Sardinian destination and will be an ambassador for everything that is magnificent about Italy.’
Renzo Persico, chairman of the Costa Smeralda Consortium said: ‘We are truly honoured that the name that has been chosen for the new flagship is Costa Smeralda, the most prestigious brand name in international tourism, and to this day inseparably connected to our land: by virtue of the excellence achieved around the globe by the Costa Cruises group, the Costa Smeralda Consortium wanted to entrust its name to this new ship that will take this name to all the continents around the world.’
During the steel cutting ceremony, Costa also announced a new livery that will appear on the bow of all its ships over the coming months. The design is a stylised version of the tricolour Italian flag fluttering in the wind at sea. The ship names will also be updated and will be larger in size than the current names.
‘With the new livery we are reinforcing the concept of "Italianness" on board our ships even more,’ concluded Palomba.