Left to right: Costa Group’s Michael Thamm and San Giorgio del Porto’s Ferdinando Garrè signed the agreement on 25 September (Image: Costa Group)
Costa Group has contracted the San Giorgio del Porto shipyard in Genoa, Italy to carry out a €50 million (US$54.6 million) project to transform Costa Cruises’ Costa neoRiviera into the new AIDAmira for sister brand AIDA Cruises.
Costa neoRiviera will complete her last 11-night Mediterranean cruise in Savona, Italy on 29 October before arriving in Genoa the following day and remaining in dry dock until 28 November. During the renovation, the ship will be fitted with five restaurants, seven bars, large outdoor spaces, an expansive wellness area and around 700 guest cabins, including 125 with balconies or private sun terraces.
AIDAmira is expected to depart the San Giorgio del Porto shipyard and arrive in Palma de Mallorca on 29 November for her official renaming ceremony.
“We are honoured that the Costa Group continues to give us confidence and believes in the know-how and technical skills of the Genoese shipbuilding industry and of San Giorgio del Porto in particular, despite the many infrastructure-related difficulties that continue to prevent the full development of ship repair and refitting activities,” said Ferdinando Garrè, CEO of San Giorgio del Porto. “Costa's decision to bring a job of this magnitude to Genoa could not be taken for granted and for this we are grateful to the company.”
According to the agreement, around 1,000 workers from Genoa will be involved in the restyling project, with 150 of them working directly for the shipyard.
“This new investment in the city of Genoa, with a local partner like San Giorgio del Porto, is a further tangible sign of our link with Genoa and Liguria and of the positive impact that our group can have locally,” said Michael Thamm, group CEO of Costa Group and Carnival Asia. “We have carried out a study on this subject, which has given very impressive results: in just one year, the Costa Group has generated an economic impact in Europe of €12.6 billion and over 63,000 jobs. It is precisely the shipbuilding industry that accounts for the largest part of this impact, thanks to the plan to expand and renew our fleet, but also the contribution that comes directly from each guest, amounting on average to €74.60 in every port visited, is particularly significant. Italy is among the top destinations for our guests, with 3.2 million passenger movements, a figure that is going to grow also thanks to AIDAmira, which will be calling at three ports in southern Italy next summer.”
AIDAmira will join AIDAaura, AIDAcara and AIDAvita to sail off-the-beaten-track itineraries as part of the AIDA Selection Explorer programme. Following a four-night vernissage cruise in the Western Mediterranean, AIDAmira will homeport in Cape Town, South Africa and sail 14-day voyages to destinations including Durban, East London, Lüderitz, Namibia and Walvis Bay.
From May to September 2020, the ship will offer two different one-week itineraries, which can be combined into a single 14-day cruise, departing from the Greek island of Corfu. One itinerary will take guests to the Greek ports of Athens, Santorini and Crete, as well as Brindisi, Italy. The other will include calls in Malta; Catania and Crotone, Italy; Olympia and Kefalonia, Greece.
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