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Coin-laying ceremony for Costa Smeralda at Meyer Turku

Meyer Turku project manager Tom Degerman and second deck officer Costa Cruises' Elisabetta Moraci at Costa Smeralda's coin-laying ceremony
Costa Cruises celebrated the traditional coin ceremony for its new LNG-powered cruise ship, Costa Smeralda, at the Meyer shipyard in Turku, Wednesday.

With a gross tonnage of over 180,000, Costa Smeralda will offer over 2,600 rooms and will enter service in October 2019.

The coin laying ceremony was attended by the senior management of Costa Cruises and the Meyer Turku shipyard. Elisabetta Moraci, a 28-year-old Italian from Messina, a Second Deck Officer in the Costa fleet, served as godmother of the event.

‘We celebrate this symbolic moment for our new ship with great enthusiasm,’ said Neil Palomba, president of Costa Cruises.

‘The coin ceremony marks the beginning of the hull assembly for the ship. From here our design and steel construction efforts will start to turn into an actual ship, so a very exciting time for us shipbuilders. We are very happy that Costa Cruises has entrusted with the design and the construction of this sophisticated LNG powered ship with a unique architectural design that truly expresses the Costa spirit. Now we are bringing our designs and plans to life,’ said ceo of Meyer Turku, Jan Meyer.

‘With LNG a breakthrough in fuel technology, Costa Smeralda represents a major innovation for the international market and an important step toward setting new standards for the entire sector,’ remarked Palomba.

‘Our strategy of ongoing innovation and continuous improvement will provide a significant boost to the development of LNG as an alternative fuel technology in the cruise industry,’ he added.

AIDA, Costa and P&O Cruises all building LNG-powered cruise ships

Other Carnival brands, AIDA and P&O Cruises, are also building LNG powered cruise ships, the first to be delivered will be AIDAnova later this year.

The use of LNG and exhaust gas cleaning systems (EGCS) will both play an important role in further improving the impact of Costa Group’s marine operations, said Palomba.

EGCS are installed on about 60% of ships in the Carnival Corp fleet and fleet

A sister ship arriving in 2021

Costa Smeralda and its to-be-named sister ship expected in 2021, will be unique in terms of the services offered on board and the design, said Palomba.

In total, the Costa Group has 26 ships in service, which equates to 74,000 beds. Seven new ships, will be coming into service between 2018 and 2023, including two for Costa Cruises, two for Costa Asia and three for AIDA Cruises, representing a total investment of over six billion euros.

Once these seven new ships have entered service, the Costa Group’s capacity will have increased by over 50% to meet rising consumer demand for cruising over the next several years.

Costa Smeralda's début is scheduled for October 20, 2019, with a 15-day maiden cruise from Hamburg to Savona with stops in Rotterdam, Lisbon, Barcelona and Marseille.

Costa Smeralda naming in Savona

Costa Smeralda will be named in Savona on November 3, 2019. The six-day inaugural cruise will depart from Savona on November 4, 2019, and sail to Barcelona, Marseilles and Civitavecchia (Rome).

Costa Smeralda will then continue to sail around the Western Mediterranean until April 2020, offering one-week cruises including Savona, Marseille, Barcelona, Palma de Mallorca, Civitavecchia and La Spezia.