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Costa Cruises holds naming ceremony for LNG-powered cruise ship

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LNG Industry,

Costa Cruises has announced that it has held the naming ceremony for its new LNG-powered cruise ship, Costa Smeralda, in Savona, Italy.

The ship’s godmother and star of the event was international celebrity Penélope Cruz, who carried out 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. Italian multi-starred chef Bruno Barbieri also attended the event, and personally conceived and presented a special gala cocktail, giving guests a taste of his creativity and experience.

According to Costa Cruises, the ship is as a ‘travelling smart city’, in which sustainable technologies and circular economy concepts are used in order to reduce the environmental footprint and support sustainable cruising. With an innovative LNG propulsion system, Costa Smeralda is able to virtually eliminate sulfur dioxide emissions (zero emissions) and particulate matter (95 – 100% reduction), while also significantly reducing emissions of nitrogen oxides (direct reduction of 85%) and CO2 (up to 20%). On board, special desalinisation plants process seawater directly to meet daily water supply requirements, and energy consumption is reduced to a minimum thanks to an intelligent energy management system. In addition, waste is managed on board with 100% separate collection for recycling of plastic, paper, glass and aluminium, using an integrated approach inspired by circular economy projects. Finally, the 4GOODFOOD program applied on board is designed to reduce food wastage and to recover food surpluses for social betterment in cooperation with the European Federation of Food Banks.

Michael Thamm, Group CEO of Costa Group, which includes Costa and Germany's leading brand, AIDA Cruises, and Carnival Asia, said: “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.”

Costa Cruises President, Neil Palomba, added: “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 on board 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.”

The Costa Group claims that it was the first cruise operator in the world to pioneer the advanced LNG propulsion system. To date, the company has ordered a total of five LNG-fuelled 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 21 December 2019. It 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 starting in winter 2021/2022.

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