Costa Cruises has taken delivery of Costa Smeralda, its new flagship powered by liquefied natural gas (LNG). The handover ceremony took place at the Meyer shipyard in Turku, Finland, where the ship was built. With over 180,000 gross tonnage and over 2,600 rooms, Costa Smeralda is the result of a unique creative project led by Adam D. Tihany, created to immerse guests in experiencing Italy’s finest all in one place.
Costa Smeralda is the first ship in the Costa fleet to use LNG, both in port and at sea. It is part of an expansion plan that includes an investment of over six billion euros for seven new ships to be delivered by 2023 to the Costa Group, which consists of Costa Cruises, Germany-based AIDA Cruises and Costa Asia. Five of the vessels - including Costa Smeralda and her sister ship Costa Toscana, currently under construction at Meyer Turku and scheduled for delivery in 2021 - will be powered by LNG. With the arrival of Costa Smeralda, the Costa Group fleet rises to a total of 29 ships in service, all flying the Italian flag, underscoring the company’s leadership in Europe and China.
The use of LNG is a major development in minimizing environmental impact and significantly improving air quality, with the virtual elimination of sulfur dioxide emissions (zero emissions) and particulate matter (95-100% reduction). LNG also significantly reduces emissions of nitrogen oxide (direct reduction of 85%) and CO2 (reduction of up to 20%).
Nalini Gupta, Managing Director, Lotus Destinations, Representative of Costa Cruises in India, said, “This represents an innovation for the international market and a crucial step towards setting new standards for the entire cruise tourism sector. LNG is a breakthrough in fuel technology as it guarantees a significant reduction in our environmental impact and through this innitiative, Costa will continue to make sustainable tourism a fundamental part of its industry leadership."
“Costa Smeralda will be a further boost to the use of LNG in cruise ships, a technology we were the first to believe in, setting a new course in the cruise sector. Our Costa Group has invested in the construction of five new LNG ships as part of our leadership in sustainable tourism. It is an innovation in the cruise and overall shipping industries, destined to mark a step change as it guarantees a significant reduction in our environmental impact without compromising the safety aspects that are an essential priority for us,” said Neil Palomba, President of Costa Cruises.