Meyer Turku hosts coin ceremony for new Costa Smeralda

Meyer Turku hosts coin ceremony for new Costa Smeralda
Meyer Turku has started to assemble Costa Smeralda's hull (Image: Meyer Turku)

Meyer Turku has started to assemble the hull of Costa Cruises’ first fully LNG-powered cruise ship, Costa Smeralda, at its yard in Turku, Finland.

Costa marked the construction milestone with a traditional ceremony, during which executives from Meyer Turku and Costa Cruises joined Elisabetta Moraci, a second deck officer for the Costa fleet, to place commemorative coins beneath the first keel block. The coins are expected to bring good fortune for all who sail on Costa Smeralda.

The ceremony also marked a historical moment for Meyer Turku because the 180,000gt Costa Smeralda is the largest cruise ship the shipyard has built in the past 10 years.

“The coin ceremony marks the beginning of the hull assembly for the ship,” said Jan Meyer, CEO of Meyer Turku. “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.” Set to debut in October 2019, Costa Smeralda will have dual-fuel engines and will be the first of two Costa ships that will use 100% LNG power when at sea and in port. Using this fuel will almost eliminate sulphur oxide and particulate matter emissions, and significantly reduce nitrogen oxides and carbon dioxide emissions.

Meyer Turku, which has previously built LNG-powered passenger ferries for Viking Line (Viking Grace) and Tallink (Megastar), has worked with sister shipyard Meyer Werft in Germany to create the LNG propulsion plant for Costa Smeralda. The 140-metre-long floating engine room unit has already arrived at the yard ready to be fitted to the ship’s superstructure.

“We celebrate this symbolic moment for our new ship with great enthusiasm,” said Neil Palomba, president of Costa Cruises. “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. Costa Group is the market leader in Europe and Asia, and we continue to make sustainable tourism a key part of our industry leadership. 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.”

Costa Smeralda will be designed as a ‘tribute to Italy’, offering venues and piazzas named after the country’s popular landmarks and destinations, as well as more than 2,600 passenger cabins, furniture, lighting and accessories by Italian companies.

“In addition to being a ship that represents the latest advancements in fuel technology and environmental impact, Costa Smeralda and her to-be-named sister ship expected in 2021, will be unique in terms of the services offered onboard and the design,” said Palomba. “She will represent the best expression to date of our brand promise to deliver ‘Italy’s finest’ to our guests, which characterises and differentiates Costa Cruises internationally. Costa Smeralda will create further opportunities to welcome new and existing guests into the exciting and immersive environment of a next-generation cruise ship, offering them an unforgettable vacation experience.”

Costa Smeralda will embark on her 15-day maiden cruise from Hamburg, Germany to Savona, Italy on 20 October 2019, enabling guests to enjoy two-day stopovers in Rotterdam, Netherlands; Lisbon, Portugal; Barcelona, Spain and Marseille, France. Following her christening ceremony in Savona on 3 November, the ship will then depart on a voyage to Barcelona, Marseilles and Civitavecchia (Rome). The vessel will remain in the Western Mediterranean until April 2020, offering one-week cruises to ports in Spain, France and Italy.

Costa’s second LNG-powered ship, which is yet to be named, will be delivered by Meyer Turku in 2021.

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Rebecca Gibson
By Rebecca Gibson
Thursday, July 5, 2018