Special celebrations were held on February 24, 2020, in Savona for the naming ceremony of Costa Smeralda, Costa Cruises’ sensational new flagship, powered by liquefied natural gas (LNG).
The ship’s godmother and star of the event was international celebrity Penélope Cruz, who performed the ribbon-cutting duties with the traditional breaking of the bottle against the bow of the ship in the presence of the Master of Costa Smeralda, Paolo Benini. Also starring at the celebration was the Italian multi-starred chef Bruno Barbieri, who personally conceived and presented a special gala cocktail, giving guests a taste of his creativity and experience.
The event for Costa Smeralda continued with an extraordinary acrobatic show called “Dream” produced by the creative genius of Viktor Klee and staged in the splendid setting of the Colosseo, the innovative and technologically advanced theatre located at the center of the ship, with nine of the world’s best acrobats. The celebrations ended with a spectacular display of fireworks launched from a barge positioned in the stretch of sea in front of the Priamar Fortress, lighting up the sky of Savona and giving the ship a fitting send-off.
Costa Smeralda is a breakthrough for the cruise industry, as she represents an exceptional combination of environmental innovation, smart technologies and Italian excellence in design, food, and experiences.
Costa Smeralda is a tribute to Italy thanks to the extraordinary creative project led by designer Adam D. Tihany that celebrates Italy and gives guests the chance to experience the best it can offer, all in one place. The furnishings, lighting, fabrics and upholstery, and accessories were all made in Italy especially for the new flagship, by 15 partners who are all ambassadors of Italian excellence, and all spaces are inspired by the beauties of Italy. A celebration of Italian design is showcased in the CoDe – Costa Design Museum, the first-ever museum on a cruise ship. The amenities onboard are perfectly in line with their sumptuous surroundings. Highlights include the Solemio Spa, the entertainment areas, theme bars in collaboration with leading Italian brands, 16 restaurants and “food experience” areas, including those conceived for casual family dining. The innovative Ristorante LAB offers guests the chance to have fun cooking and learning about food sustainability at the same time. A new concept of entertainment onboard, based on shows and happenings going on at the same time in different parts of the ship, transforms Costa Smeralda into a unique entertainment venue.
The ship is a “traveling smart city”, where sustainable technologies and circular economy concepts are applied to reduce the environmental footprint and support sustainable cruising. With her innovative technological propulsion system based on LNG, the most advanced fuel technology currently available to reduce emissions, she is able to virtually eliminate sulfur dioxide emissions (zero emissions) and particulate matter (95-100% reduction), while greatly reducing emissions of nitrogen oxides (direct reduction of 85%) and CO2 (up to 20%). Onboard, special desalinization plants process seawater directly to meet daily water supply requirements, and the energy consumption is reduced to a minimum thanks to an intelligent energy management system. Waste is managed onboard with 100% separate collection for recycling of plastic, paper, glass and aluminum, using an integrated approach inspired by circular economy projects. Finally, the 4GOODFOOD program applied onboard is designed to reduce food wastage and to recover food surpluses for social betterment in cooperation with the European Federation of Food Banks.
“It is a pleasure to officially welcome Costa Smeralda to our fleet. This ship is the perfect combination of Italian excellence, which is the key heritage of the Costa brand, and sustainable innovation, for an unforgettable vacation experience. As the market leader in Europe, we are committed to being the first to introduce environmental innovation and lead the way in sustainable cruising for the cruise industry. We were the first company to invest in LNG and we are currently working to develop other sustainable technologies such as battery storage, fuel cells and liquefied gas from renewable energy sources” said Michael Thamm, Group CEO of Costa Group, which includes Costa and Germany’s leading brand, AIDA Cruises, and Carnival Asia.
“The naming of a new ship is always very exciting – especially in the case of Costa Smeralda, because she is an unprecedented project. A cruise holiday on this ship allows our guests to enjoy memorable experiences both onboard and ashore – whether it is the food, relaxation, high-tech entertainment or authentic encounters in the destinations we visit. This is the Costa of the future, providing us with new opportunities to grow the market and attract consumers who have never been on a cruise before,” said Costa Cruises President Neil Palomba.
The Costa Group was the first cruise operator in the world to pioneer the advanced LNG propulsion system and has ordered a total of five new LNG-fueled ships, two of which – Costa Smeralda and AIDAnova – are already in service. They are part of the Costa Group’s fleet expansion plan, with a total of seven new ships slated for delivery by 2023 and an overall investment worth over €6 billion.
Costa Smeralda entered service on December 21, 2019. She is operating on a one-week itinerary in the Western Mediterranean with calls at Savona, Marseille, Barcelona, Palma de Mallorca, Civitavecchia/Rome and La Spezia. This summer, the new flagship will also be calling at Cagliari, while a stopover in Palermo is planned to start in winter 2021/22.