Archive for the ‘Costa Cruises’ Category

Introducting: Costa Smeralda

October 10, 2019

(Courtesy Costa)

The new LNG-fueled 182,700 gross tonne Costa Smeralda,  has left the Meyer Turku shipyard for her first series of sea trials.

The 5,224 passenger (max. 6,522) Costa vessel has been constructed at a cost of $950 million and is on Carnival’s next-generation Excel-class ship platform. Aida, Carnival and P&O (Iona) ships also share this platform.

The Costa Smeralda’s first cruise will be departing from Savona on November 30, 2019.

The Smeralda will sail from Savona on weekly itineraries, departing every Saturday. It will also call in La Spezia on Fridays. Other calls include Marseille, Barcelona, Palma de Mallorca and Civitavecchia.


Steel Cut for Costa Toscana

August 1, 2019

Sister: Costa Smeralda (Courtesy Costa Cruises)

The first steel was cut today at the Meyer Turku shipyard in Finland for the Costa Toscana, set for a 2021 debut and fueled by LNG.

She will be a sister to the Costa Smeralda, which is nearing completion with the finishing touches being put to the interior fit-out at the same yard in Turku prior to her entry into service in October this year.

The LNG-fueled Costa Smeralda and Costa Toscana are an integral part of the strategic plan for carbon footprint reduction, according to a statement, as defined by Carnival Corporation and fully implemented by Costa Cruises.

“In fact, the measures adopted by virtue of 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,” the company said.

The pair of ships are each around 180,000 tons with over 2,600 staterooms.

The Costa Smeralda is set to make her debut on October 20, 2019, with a 15-day preview cruise from Hamburg to Savona.

The official naming of Costa Smeralda will be celebrated at a special ceremony on November 3 in Savona

The Costa Smeralda will be deployed in the Western Mediterranean through April 2021 on one-week cruises porting in Savona, Marseille, Barcelona, Palma de Mallorca, Civitavecchia and La Spezia.

The Costa Toscana’s cruise program will be announced in the next few months.

(Costa Cruises)

New Ships For 2019

December 31, 2018


Ocean cruising continues to expand and in 2019 there will be nine new ships, from the main players, entering service:

MSC Bellissima, Launch Date: March 2019, Tonnage: 167,600, Berths: 4,500

Spectrum of the Seas, Launch Date: April 2019, Tonnage: 167,800, Berths: 4,180

Marella Explorer 2 (Second-hand), Launch Date: April 2019, Tonnage: 76,500, Berths: 1,814

Spirit of Discovery, Launch Date: Summer 2019,Tonnage: 55,900, Berths: 1,000

MSC Grandiosa, Launch Date: October 2019, Tonnage: 177,000, Berths: 4,900

Norwegian Encore, Launch Date: Fall 2019, Tonnage: 163,000, Berths: 4,000

Costa Smerelda, Launch Date: 2019, Tonnage: 180,000, Berths: 5,176

Sky Princess, Launch Date: November 2019, Tonnage: 143,700, Berths: 3,560

Carnival Panorama, Launch Date: November 2019, Tonnage: 133,500, Berths: 3,934


The nine ships above represent 33,064 new berths, based on double occupancy.

You will see that most of the ships in the list are over 130,000 gross tonnes.

Six of the ship are considerably bigger (up to 180,000 gt). These are gross tonnages that are so big that it was unimaginable just over two decades ago.

Most carry over 3,000 passengers, many carry more (up to 5,176).

Marella (standard) and Spirit of Discovery (luxury) are the exceptions in the list and their ships have more modest gross tonnages and passenger capacities.

2020 will see another nine major ships, entering service. Most will be over 100,000 gross tonnes.

Surprisingly there are many smaller ships on the drawing board, due to enter service in the next five years. However most are luxury expedition ships, aimed at wealthy ‘explorers’.  Smaller ships, offering standard products, will generally still be second-hand vessels. Serving UK passengers, this will mainly be Marella Fred. Olsen, Marella and CMV.


Are Cruise Ships Getting Too Big?

September 21, 2018

(Image courtesy of RCI)

With all the talk of Carnival’s 180,000 gt, 6,600 passenger ‘Helios’ class ships, many people are asking the question “Are cruise ships getting too big”? 

Four Carnival’s cruise brands: Carnival, Costa, AIDA and P&O will be getting these mega-ships. This design will supersede Royal Caribbean’s ‘Oasis’ class, in terms of passenger capacity.  In fact it is a world record for a cruise ship.

It is hardly surprising  that one of the biggest concerns about today’s leviathans is just how well will they cope with the huge number of passengers that they will carry…

Article continued: HERE

Carnival’s LNG Ships Compared

August 24, 2018

Although the four Carnival cruise brands (Carnival, AIDA, COSTA and P&O) will get the same basic design of ship, they will be adapted a little for each brand. For example, the bows are different. Carnival and P&O appear to have similar bows to each other (below: top two images ), as  Costa and Aida’s versions are similar to each other (below: bottom two images). 

Image1Another example is that the P&O and Costa’s  sterns are different. The Carnival stern looks similar to the P&O one, the Costa similar to the AIDA one.


Top left, clockwise: Carnival (Unnamed), P&O’s Iona, AIDAnova, Costa Smeralda

We do not have the full deck plans or details of the public room yet, for this class of ship, so here are my speculations:

It appears from the renderings that the Carnival and Costa versions will NOT have  a ‘SkyDome’* as the P&O version will. The Costa version has a large open-air glass canopy behind the funnel. The AIDA appears to have a glass-house at the stern, for want of an official name.

SkyDome, Iona (Courtesy P&O)

These differences are because the Carnival and Costa versions of the ship are designed to operate in the warmer Mediterranean climates.  Ships designated for cruises from the U.K. (P&O) and Germany (AIDA) will need a large space protected by a roof (the Dome or ‘glass-house’) for inclement weather that that part of Europe can experience.

It appears from the renderings that the Carnival and Costa versions will NOT have  a ‘SkyDome’* as the P&O version will. The Costa version has a large open-air glass canopy behind the funnel. The AIDA appears to have a glass-house at the stern, for want of an official name.

Early deck plans show that the Costa and AIDA designs have a circular space amidships spanning a number decks 6, 7 and 8, reminiscent of AIDA’s ‘Theatrium’  – a combined atrium and entertainment space featured on their previous ships.  On-board Costa Smeralda it is called ‘Closseo’.


Above: Costa Smeralda (Courtesy Costa)


Above: Theatrium (Courtesy AIDA)

Early deck plans show that the Costa and AIDA designs have a circular space amidships spanning a number decks 6, 7 and 8, reminiscent of AIDA’s ‘Theatrium’  – a combined atrium and entertainment space featured on their previous ships.  On-board Costa Smeralda it is called ‘Closseo’.


Above: Iona’s Grand Atrium (Courtesy of P&O)

P&O’s Grand Atrim and ‘SkyDome’ sounds like a variation of AIDA’s Theatrium and Costa’s Closseo (all being circular) with a dome on top.

Above: Iona, with her ‘SkyDome’ (Courtesy P&O)

The Costa and AIDA sterns features a low extended deck area, reminiscent of MSC’s ‘Seaside’ ships. Seven decks rise from the stern offering prime real-estate: many aft facing balcony cabins. The two rows of windows below the stern deck (5 and 6) are to restaurants sitting on top of each other. There is also a third restaurant sitting on the stern promenade deck (7).

The P&O design  (and maybe the Carnival) appear to have have their stern-promenade located a deck higher. P&O have said that there are four main dining restaurants: Pearl, Coral, Aqua and Opal.  Maybe three are stacked on top of each other below the stern promenade and one is located o the stern promenade. (just a guess!)

Looking at the Costa renderings: Leading from the aft deck area, are some steps to a raised promenade deck which runs along 80% of the side of the ship. This prom deck is above the lifeboats and obviously solely for public use and not for lifeboat boarding. It does not appear to wrap around the bow, unless it has an internal tunnel. The rendering is not specific, but this could feature some bars and restaurants like NCL’s ‘Waterfront’. (“A much wider, half-mile promenade deck allowing for al-fresco dining.” was recently reported by P&O) 

The P&O model and Carnival renderings do NOT appear to show ‘steps’ on the promenade. They show an uninterrupted one level prom. P&O call it the ‘Lanai’ deck.


Costa Smeralda Above: (Courtesy of Costa – click to enlarge)


P&O Model

This ship design of these ships is NOT the biggest in the world, that is RCI’s ‘Oasis’ class at around 35-40,000 gt bigger, but they will have the biggest passenger capacity in the world at an all-berth figure of 6,600.


*(A brand new entertainment done will be the SkyDome and guests can expect it to be one of Iona’s star attractions.  The roof will be one of the most impressive features along with a pool with a retractable stage, offering a unique space whatever the weather and the time of day.  During the day, SkyDome is the ideal place for relaxation and informal dining with a swimming pool, Jacuzzi and poolside features, and shaded seating areas.  But by night, it comes alive with aerial performances, immersive shows and deck parties and above it all, it is a glazed dome roof designed by award-winning British engineers Eckersley O’Callaghan, the team behind glass masterpieces such as Bulgari’s flagship New York boutique.) P&O

What is LNG? See: HERE

Costa Smeralda: Costa’s first LNG-Powered Ship

September 13, 2017

The steel cutting ceremony for the first of two ‘Helios-Class’ Costa Cruises ships  was held Wednesday 13th September 2017 at the Meyer Turku shipyard, Finland.

The ship, named Costa Smeralda, (Emerald Coast) is named after Sardinia’s main tourist area.

The ship will enter service in October 2019, with a sister ship following in 2021.

Carnival will be building a total of seven ‘Helios-Class’ cruise ships which will all be fully powered by liquefied natural gas (LNG). The ships will be shared between the Carnival brands: Carnival (2), AIDA (2), Costa (2) and P&O (1).

Each ship will be around 184,000 gross tonnes and carry up to 6,600 passengers, which will be a record.

Costa Cruises’ president Neil Palomba said, ‘The two new Costa Cruises ships are a true innovation and set new standards for the entire sector. They will be among the first cruise ships powered by LNG, spurring the development of this green technology.’ He added, ‘at 183,900gt, Costa Smeralda is also a step up in ship size – we need the new facilities to answer to the demand of our customers and to increase our competitiveness for the future.’

During the steel cutting ceremony, Costa also announced a new livery that will appear on the bow of all its ships over the coming months. The design is a stylised version of the tricolour Italian flag fluttering in the wind at sea. The ship names will also be updated and will be larger in size than the current names.


Malcolm says: AIDA’s first vessel called AIDAnova also had her steel cut, at the German yard, Meyer Werft on 6th September 2017. The ship will be delivered in late 2018 and an as yet unnamed sister ship, in 2021.