‘Costa Firenze’s concept is inspired by an iconic city, which represents Italian art, taste and refinement in the world's collective imagination,’ said Zanetti. ‘We designed this ship to offer our guests a unique experience, especially for families and couples.’
Partnership and 25-year anniversary of Costa Cruises in Savona
Savona Mayor Ilaria Caprioglio, attending, added, ‘Savona welcomes Costa Firenze, a new ship celebrating the 25th year of Costa Cruises operations in the port.
‘In this quarter of a century, Costa and the city have grown together. During the five [years] ...as mayor of Savona, we [have] developed collaboration on inclusion and sustainability projects and ... support for cultural initiatives.’
Speaking from on board Costa Firenze, Zanetti and the Florence Mayor Dario Nardella announced a cooperation agreement, with the line aiming to promote tourism in the city, starting with Costa's contribution to the restoration of Dante's plaques.
A drive for European tourists
Each of the 33 stone plaques bears a quotation referencing places, real events and illustrious citizens of Dante's time, which tourists are able to follow throughout the city.
Normally kept in the Ancient Fund of the Civic Library, the Dante volumes will go on display in Florence’s Civic Art Gallery as the city marks the 700th anniversary of the poet and philosopher's death.
So said Nardella, ‘Today, for the first time, the history of our city is enclosed in a jewel of technology with the new Costa Firenze. It is a tribute to the city, but ... also a great co-marketing operation between the historic Italian company and our city, which comes at a time of greater commitment to relaunch European and international tourism in Florence.
‘We are particularly pleased that the ship will call at Dubai for the Expo, where Florence, once again, will play a major role thanks to the most accurate reproduction ever of Michelangelo's David.’
Designed and built at Fincantieri’s Marghera shipyard, Costa Firenze is inspired by the Florentine Renaissance.
Its interiors reflect the streets of Florence in the choice of colors, geometries and shapes. The Piazza della Signoria atrium, for instance, symbolises the Florentine square.
Passengers can embark on a Marchesi Frescobaldi wine experience featuring Cultivating Toscana Diversity or dine at The Fiorentina Steak House, which serves Tuscan meats.
Costa Cruises' sustainability pledge
During the vessel's preview, Zanetti emphasised value-driven, sustainable and inclusive tourism as part of the line’s manifesto, noting, ‘The debut of Costa Firenze, as well as the restart of the three other Costa ships that have returned to cruising in recent weeks, is an opportunity for us to promote a new model of tourism.
‘As we have made explicit in our manifesto, this model aims at the collaboration among different public and private entities to enhance the excellence of the territories in a sustainable way. The cooperation with the city of Florence is the first concrete manifestation of this approach: Costa Firenze will become a true platform for promoting the city of Florence around the world, particularly during Expo 2020 Dubai.’
According to the line’s manifesto, destinations are not considered a set of tourist attractions, but as communities where greater economic and social value can be created. Starting with Costa Firenze’s itinerary, Costa will initiate a process of sharing with institutions, associations and stakeholders in the cities, regions and countries where it operates to develop dialogue and collaboration.
Italy-focussed sailings and Expo Dubai 2020
Costa Firenze’s inaugural one-week cruise begins July 4, calling Savona, Civitavecchia (Rome), Naples, Catania, Palermo and Cagliari. Dedicated excursions will take place, with each port call lasting over 10 hours.
From the end of July to the close of August, the itinerary will include a stop in Valletta, Malta and from 12 September, will also feature Marseille, France and Barcelona and Ibiza in Spain with departures from Italy.
In winter 2021-22, the vessel will be positioned in Dubai to visit the UAE, Qatar and Oman.
The one-week itinerary includes Abu Dhabi, Doha, Muscat and a multi-day stop in Dubai, with specific packages for visiting Expo Dubai 2020.