Costa Cruises officially welcomed its new flagship, Costa Smeralda, to its fleet yesterday (Feb. 24) in Savona, Italy with a naming ceremony featuring the ship’s godmother and star of the event, Penélope Cruz.
Cruz 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 on hand 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 continued with an acrobatic show and fireworks display.
According to officials, 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.
Onboard amenities include the Solemio Spa, entertainment areas and theme bars in collaboration with leading Italian brands and 16 restaurants and “food experience” areas.
Officials call the ship a “travelling smart city,” where sustainable technologies and circular economy concepts are applied to reduce the environmental footprint and support sustainable cruising. With its innovative technological propulsion system based on LNG, the most advanced fuel technology currently available to reduce emissions, the ship 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%).
“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,” said Michael Thamm, Group CEO of Costa Group, which includes Costa and Germany’s leading brand, AIDA Cruises, and Carnival Asia. “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 Smeralda entered service on Dec. 21, 2019, operating 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 2021/22.