MILAN – Costa Cruises announced an order to build two next-generation cruise ships, with the largest guest capacity in the world. They will feature a revolutionary “green design”: the two ships will be the first in the cruise industry (together with the two new ships previously announced for Aida Cruises, the German brand of Costa Group) to be powered at sea by Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG), the world’s cleanest burning fossil fuel, representing a major environmental breakthrough.
The two ships will be built by Meyer shipyard in Turku, Finland, with delivery in 2019 and 2020. Each of them will exceed 180,000 gross tonnage, offering more than 2,600 passenger cabins for a total of 6,600 passengers onboard.
Costa order is part of a multibillion dollar contract with two Meyer shipyards in Turku (Finland) and Papenburg (Germany), including also two new ships for Aida Cruises. The contract with Meyer is the result of a larger previously announced memo of understanding between Carnival Corporation & plc, the home company of Costa Group, and leading shipbuilders Meyer Werft, Meyer Turku and Fincantieri S.p.A. for nine new ships between 2019 and 2022.
“These ships will expand the leadership position for the Costa Group, the market leader in all the major continental European markets,” said Michael Thamm, CEO of the Costa Group. “The multibillion dollar contract with Meyer mirrors our strategy to constantly innovate our vacation offers and to deliver unmatched cruise experience to our guests.”
“The two Costa ships are real innovation for the market, setting new standards for the whole industry: they will be the first green ships powered with LNG and they will offer an extensive number of guest-friendly features. Furthermore they will be the expression of the new positioning Italy’s finest” explains Neil Palomba, President of Costa Cruises. “The order also confirms that Costa brand will continue to grow, becoming even stronger and keep on generating a positive economic impact in the main countries where it operates, including Italy”.
Pioneering a new era in the use of sustainable fuels, Costa new ships will be the first in the cruise industry to use LNG in dual-powered hybrid engines to power the ship both in port and on the open sea. LNG will be stored onboard the ships and used to generate 100 percent power at sea – producing another industry-first innovation for Costa. Using LNG to power the ships in port and at sea will significantly reduce exhaust emissions to help protect the environment and support the company’s aggressive sustainability goals.
“We are honoured that Costa Group has entrusted us with the technical design and construction of their next generation ships for Europe, featuring a revolutionary green cruising design implemented to meet specific Costa Group’s needs” commented Jan Meyer CEO of Meyer Turku Oy and added: “We are building the ships with a strong team in Turku and with the support of mostly European suppliers, who are the best in their field. Among those leading suppliers, there are also a number of Italian companies, which we have worked well with in Finland as well as in Germany. We are aiming to continue this successful legacy.”
The new order represents a remarkable opportunity also for Italy. According to Costa Cruises forecast, about 750 Italian crewmembers are expected to be hired to work on the two ships. Furthermore Italy will be featured in the onboard guest experience: the new ships will be ambassadors of Italy’s finest at seas, allowing thousand of international guests to discover the excellence of the Country in terms of style, hospitality and enogastronomic specialities, entertainment.
The new ship order will allow the Costa Group to continue to build on its leadership position in the continental European cruise market – a market in which five out of ten cruise guests in 2014 sailed onboard a Costa Group ship.