The traditional coin ceremony has taken place for Costa Cruises’ brand new 180,000 gross tonne Costa Smeralda, which will be the largest cruise ship ever built for the cruise line and the first in the fleet to be fully powered by LNG (Liquefied Natural Gas).
The ceremony took place at the Meyer Turku shipyard in Finland and marked an important milestone in the construction of the new ships. Costa Smeralda is the largest cruise ship to be built at the shipyard in the past 10 years.
Jan Meyer, CEO, Meyer Turku, said: “The coin ceremony marks the beginning of the hull assembly for the ship. 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.”
Costa Smeralda is set to launch in October 2019 and is the first of two dual-fuel engined LNG powered cruise ships for Costa Cruises. The second ship is expected to launch in 2021.
Neil Palomba, President, Costa Cruises, said: “We celebrate this symbolic moment for our new ship with great enthusiasm. 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 embark on its maiden voyage from Hamburg, Germany on 20 October 2019. The 15-day cruise will visit Rotterdam, Lisbon, Barcelona and Marseille. The ship will be christened in Savona on 03 November 2019.
The ship will remain in the Western Mediterranean through until April 2020, sailing 7-night cruises to ports of call in Spain, France and Italy.