Costa Cruises’ launches two new flagships Costa Smeralda and Costa Toscana powered by LNG
Costa Cruises, the world’s largest leisure travel company and cruise operator, unveiled the launch of two new flagships powered by LNG – liquefied natural gas, the world’s cleanest burning fossil fuel – both in port and at sea, exemplifying Costa’s firm commitment to pursuing cutting-edge technology at the service of responsible innovation.
The Costa Smeralda is nearing completion with the finishing touches being put to the interior fit-out at the Meyer Turku shipyard in Finland before her entry into service in October this year.
The Costa Toscana is the second of the two new sister ships ordered by Costa Cruises and powered both in port and at sea by LNG. The Costa Toscana is expected to be delivered on October 2021.
The introduction of LNG fuelling is a ground-breaking innovation that will minimise environmental impact. It will mean improved air quality with the virtual total elimination of sulphur dioxide emissions (zero emissions) and particulate matter (95-100% reduction). The use of LNG will also greatly lessen emissions of nitrogen oxides (85% direct reduction) and CO2 (reduction of up to 20%). The gas will be stored in special tanks on board and will be used to generate the energy required for navigation and onboard services, thanks to dual-fuel hybrid engines.
Costa Smeralda and Costa Toscana are an integral part of the strategic plan for carbon footprint reduction, defined by Carnival Corporation and fully implemented by Costa Cruises. The measures adopted by a dedicated investment plan enabled Carnival Corporation to meet its 25% carbon reduction goal for 2020 some three years ahead of schedule, with a 27.6% decrease in emissions from operations already achieved by 2018.
With gross tonnage of over 180,000 and more than 2,600 staterooms on each, Costa Smeralda and Costa Toscana are part of the Costa Group’s (which includes the company’s Costa Cruises and AIDA Cruises brands) fleet expansion plan, with seven new ships scheduled to enter service by 2023 and an overall investment worth over €6 billion.
Costa Cruises President Neil Palomba said, “The steel-cutting ceremony for Costa Toscana is another step forward in our sustainable development plan. LNG propulsion for cruise ships is a major innovation, pioneering a new era in the use of low-carbon fuels that will significantly reduce exhaust emissions to help protect the environment without compromising on safety, in line with our top priorities. Once again, Costa Cruises is paving the way for the industry as a whole: in accordance with our global vision aimed at sustainable development, we were the first to invest in this technology, which is now really starting to take hold. However, a lot remains to be done in terms of the ready availability of gas bunkering infrastructure to ensure the seamless transition to LNG. Costa Toscana and her sister ship Costa Smeralda may be highly innovative products, but they will retain that inimitable Italian hospitality that has been Costa Cruises’ hallmark since the brand’s inception, conveying the exhilaration of ocean travel and providing enhanced guest experiences for repeat and first-time cruisers alike.”
“Modern shipyard for modern ships. With the first Costa Cruises’ ship, Costa Smeralda, being delivered in October, both of these ships will have lots of beautiful design and interesting features – and, of course, very high-quality work and best-in-industry engineering. We are very proud to build these ships for Costa,” stated CEO of Meyer Turku Jan Meyer.