This complex prototype was originally due in mid-October, with the delivery set back a couple times.
More LNG ships on the way
Costa Smeralda is part of an expansion plan that includes an investment of more than €6bn for seven new ships to be delivered by 2023 to the Costa Group, including Costa Cruises, AIDA Cruises and Costa Asia. Five of those — including Costa Smeralda and sister Costa Toscana, currently under construction at Meyer Turku and scheduled for delivery in 2021 — will be powered by LNG.
Costa President Neil Palomba called the LNG investment an 'innovation in the cruise and overall shipping industries, destined to mark a step change as it guarantees a significant reduction in our environmental impact without compromising the safety aspects that are an essential priority for us.’
Costa Smeralda’s arrival brings the Costa Group fleet to 29 ships in service, all flying the Italian flag.
The use of LNG is a major advance in minimizing environmental impact and significantly improving air quality, with the virtual elimination of sulfur dioxide emissions and particulate matter. LNG also significantly reduces nitrogen oxide emissions, by up to 85%, and carbon dioxide, by up to 20%.
Colosseo at the heart of the ship
‘We have used all our knowledge, skills and imagination to design and build this ship,’ Meyer Turku CEO Jan Meyer said.
He singled out the Colosseo, a three-deck open area in the middle of the ship with the latest audiovisual technology, which required specific design and building capabilities. ‘We are looking forward to the passengers enjoying some exceptional shows and performances there,’ he added.
Travel agent presentations
Costa Smeralda is scheduled to leave Meyer Turku on Friday, bound for the Mediterranean for three presentations with travel agents: Barcelona on Dec. 18, where the ship will be refueled with LNG; Marseilles on Dec. 19 and Savona on Dec. 20. On Dec. 21, Costa Smeralda will depart Savona for its first one-week cruise, calling at Marseilles, Barcelona, Palma de Mallorca, Civitavecchia (Rome) and La Spezia.
Environmental and technical advances
Costa Smeralda is packed with technologies to reduce energy consumption, including waste-heat recovery, LED lights and specially designed elevators. The hull shape significantly reduces drag in the water. The reduction of single-use plastic continues. Solid waste is collected and recycled, including plastic, paper, glass and aluminum as part of an integrated approach supporting circular economy projects.
Costa’s 4GOODFOOD program is dedicated to reducing food waste and recovering surpluses for social purposes. In addition, the new ship features the Laboratorio del Gusto Restaurant, which takes an entertaining approach to involving diners in food sustainability.
Adam Tihany-led design consortium
Costa Smeralda’s interior design was led by Adam Tihany, who assembled an international pool of four prestigious architecture firms to handle various areas of the ship. All the furnishings, lighting, fabrics and accessories are made in Italy, either standard produced or custom-designed by 15 partners. Italian design also stars in the Costa Design Museum on board.
Other features are the Solemio Spa, themed bars in collaboration with major Italian brands and 16 restaurants/'food experience' areas, including a new restaurant for families with children.
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