Prospective guests of Europa 2 – debuting next May – may soon get a first-hand impression of the interior onboard Hapag-Lloyd Cruises' latest fleet addition: model suites of the new ship will be displayed in five design studios in Hamburg, Nuremberg, Vienna, Cologne and Wiesbaden.

A major pre-trial hearing in the Costa Concordia case will get under way in Grosseto Monday, focussing particularly on the contents of the giant cruise ship’s black box, which is expected to prove critical in reconstructing the causes and effects of ihe grounding on the rocks off Giglio on the night of January 13.

Daniel Klistorner, an expert on Titanic’s passenger accommodation, has joined design consultant Steve Hall on the Titanic II project.

Capt. Francesco Schettino, who faces multiple criminal charges in connection with Costa Concordia’s deadly capsize, is suing Costa Crociere for wrongful dismissal, Reuters reports from Rome.

Titanic historian Steve Hall has been appointed design consultant to the Titanic II project being undertaken by Australian mining magnate Clive Palmer.

A federal judge in Florida has dismissed a lawsuit filed by businesses in Italy seeking damages for losses from Costa Concordia’s sinking, the Associated Press reports.

Almost nine months after Costa Concordia struck the rocks off the Tuscan island of Giglio, causing the deaths of 32 passengers and crew, the moment of truth is fast approaching for Genoa-based cruise line Costa Crociere.

Costa Crociere has strongly rebutted Italian press reports that it was aware in advance that the Costa Concordia would make a ‘salute’ to the island of Giglio as it passed on its fateful last voyage on January 13.

Star Cruises plans a US$50m upgrade for SuperStar Gemini before deploying the former Norwegian Dream from Malaysia’s Penang and China’s Shanghai and Sanya.

Costa Concordia’s refloating is now scheduled for completion in March or April, not January, as previously anticipated.

In discussing the revised timeline, Costa Crociere said the companies engaged in the salvage operation believe the new schedule is a realistic estimate for maintaining a high level of safety and environmental protection at the wreck site, off Giglio.

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