New Costa Smeralda sails to Mediterranean using LNG fuel

New Costa Smeralda sails to Mediterranean using LNG fuel
From left: Neil Palomba, president of Costa Cruises, with Jan Meyer, CEO of Meyer Turku, at the delivery ceremony (Image: Costa Cruises)

Costa Cruises took delivery of its first LNG-powered cruise ship Costa Smeralda from Meyer Turku at its shipyard in Turku, Finland on 5 December.

Boasting more than 2,600 guest rooms, Costa Smeralda was developed during a project led by creative director Adam D. Tihany. The renowned hospitality designer commissioned four architecture and design firms to work on various areas of the ship and 15 Italian firms to produce all the furnishings, lighting, fabrics and accessories.

Onboard highlights pay tribute to Costa's Italian heritage and include a three-level area in the middle of the ship for hosting entertainment, Italian-style piazzas, bars, 16 restaurants and ‘food experience areas’, a disco, casino, theatre, jazz club, a games room, a water park, a multi-sport field, four swimming pools and a spa with a beauty salon, hammam, thalasso therapy pool and 16 treatment rooms. In a cruise industry first, the vessel also has her own onboard museum called CoDe – Costa Design Museum, which will showcase the “excellence of Italian design” by featuring many of the people who have contributed to the ship's construction.

“Costa Smeralda is a significant product innovation as well, with Italian hospitality remaining a fundamental and distinctive element of our brand, able to enchant and excite not only new cruise passengers but also more experienced ones,” said Neil Palomba, president of Costa.

The vessel’s LNG engines will virtually eliminate her sulphur dioxide emissions and reduce emissions of particulate matter by 95-100%, nitrogen oxide by 85% and carbon dioxide by 20%.

“Costa Smeralda will be a further boost to the use of LNG in cruise ships, a technology we were the first to believe in, setting a new course in the cruise sector,” said Palomba. “Our Costa Group has invested in the construction of five new LNG ships as part of our leadership in sustainable tourism. It is 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.”

Other environmental technologies will include LED lighting, recycling solutions, systems for recovering energy from engines and elevators, and a desalination system to enable the ship’s daily water needs to be fulfilled by the sea. In addition, the ship’s hull has been configured to reduce drag in the water.

Costa Smeralda will host three events for travel agents – one in Barcelona, Spain on 18 December, in Marseille, France on 19 December and in Savona, Italy on 20 December. She will then embark on an inaugural cruise from Savona on 21 December, calling at Marseilles, Barcelona, Palma de Mallorca, and the Italian ports of Civitavecchia and La Spezia.

Read how Costa Cruises has incorporated its Italian heritage into Costa Smeralda in our interview with the brand's president Neil Palomba

Read about Adam D. Tihany's role in the Costa Smeralda project in his interview in the 2019 issue of Cruise & Ferry Interiors

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Rebecca Gibson
By Rebecca Gibson
09 December 2019

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