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Costa & Fincantieri: 2 Ships Launched Simultaneously

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The Italian Company Costa Cruises, the number one cruise line in Italy and across Europe, and Fincantieri, the world’s leading cruise ship builder, have together set another record today:  for the first time ever, two ships have been launched the same day – the two ships in question are the Costa Luminosa and Costa Pacifica, respectively the 13th and 14th members of the Costa fleet, which will both enter service next year.  The Costa Luminosa, which will be able to accommodate 2828 Guests and is 92,700 gross tonnage, was launched at Fincantieri’s shipyard in Marghera (Province of Venice) in the presence of the Honorable Renato Brunetta, the Italian Minister for Public Administration and Innovation.  Meanwhile, the Costa Pacifica, total Guest capacity of 3780 and 114,500 gross tonnage, was also launched today in Genova-Sestri Ponente.

This simultaneous launch is an unprecedented event in the history of the cruise industry worldwide, testimony to the great entrepreneurial skill of the two companies.  Costa Cruises has invested over 900 million euros in the construction of the two liners, with the labor of around 6000 people, comprising both Fincantieri’s own employees and those of about 500 contracted suppliers, most of which are Italian firms.

The two ceremonies held to mark what is known as “the launch by floating out” observed the protocol laid down for such occasions by seafaring tradition.  The yard directors invited the two Godmothers – a woman who works at the Sestri Ponente shipyard for the Costa Pacifica and the daughter of an employee in the Marghera shipyard for the Costa Luminosa – to cut the ribbons and the bottles of champagne duly broke against the bows.  After the gradual flooding of the slipways where the two liners have taken shape over the last few months, the hulls of both vessels were transferred to the sea for the first time.  In both cases the launch ended with the welding of a coin to the base of what used to be the mainmast in a ceremony traditionally considered to augur well.

“This simultaneous launch is a concrete example of the entrepreneurial success of two Italian companies and also a milestone in the expansion of our fleet, which will have 17 ships by 2012,”  commented Costa Cruises S.p.A. Group Chairman & CEO Pier Luigi Foschi.  “It is also testimony to the major contribution our investments make to the nation’s economy, reflected by the fact that we are regarded as shining examples of Italian excellence worldwide.  The Costa Luminosa and Costa Pacifica combine the very best of the Costa product and add yet more exclusive innovations, setting us even further apart from other tour operators.”

Mr. Bono, Fincantieri CEO, commented: “Launching two ships for Costa Crociere on the same day at two different shipyards - which, in the last fortnight, have also delivered two other ships for two more brands in Carnival Group - is a remarkable industrial performance. The event is not only a showcase for a successful cruise operator but also testifies to Fincantieri’s organisational capacity and construction expertise, rare qualities nowadays, not only in the shipbuilding sector. Indeed, well-managed construction programmes with punctual delivery schedules for cutting edge ships have enabled us to become world leaders in the cruise sector. Last but not least we should remember that activities at Fincantieri’s shipyards are a driving force spurring growth and development in local economies.”

After the launch, work is set to continue for almost a year on the fitting out and interior decoration of both liners.  The Costa Luminosa is due for delivery at the end of April 2009, the Costa Pacifica at the end of May 2009. Their naming ceremonies will be another first for the cruise industry:  the two new fleet members will be christened together on June 5, 2009 in Genoa, the city where Costa Cruises – this year celebrating its 60th anniversary – has always been headquartered.  Also for the first time, Guests booked to travel on the maiden cruise of either ship will also be able to witness the christening ceremony.

During the simultaneous launch ceremonies the Company announced the name of the sister ship of the Costa Luminosa,  which is scheduled to enter service in spring 2010:  she is going to be called the Costa Deliziosa.  The first section of this liner was built in the Ancona shipyard and subsequently towed to Marghera, where her keel will be laid on July 3.  Costa’s fleet expansion program includes the introduction of 5 new ships by 2012, all built in Italy by Fincantieri for a total investment worth 2.4 billion euros.

In addition to the Costa Pacifica, Costa Luminosa and Costa Deliziosa, two sister ships of the Costa Pacifica will enter service in spring 2011 and 2012.  The Costa Cruises fleet will then be 17-strong and able to carry some 46,400 Guests, an increase of 50% on present capacity.

Costa Luminosa

The 92,700 gross tonnage Costa Luminosa will be able to carry up to 2828 Guests.  She will be a unique ship, a trendsetter in contemporary design, a perfect blend of service excellence and stunning, lavish interiors.  At the cutting edge of the fleet, the Costa Luminosa will be Costa Cruises’ most exclusive and innovative cruise ship, made to measure to exceed the expectations of even the most discerning customers.  The many innovations include a 4D cinema, a show lounge with spectacular special effects, a Golf Simulator featuring 37 virtual golf courses plus an outdoor area of 90m² with a putting green, a jogging and rollerblading track, Samsara spa with a Kinesis room, and 772 veranda cabins out of a total of 1130 staterooms, making this the Costa Cruise fleet member with the highest percentage of private balconies (68%).

Costa Pacifica

The Costa Pacifica, 114,500 gross tonnage and total Guest capacity of 3780, the sister of the current flagships Costa Concordia and Costa Serena, will be the ship of music:  the best music from every era will not only be the central “theme” for the interior design of the various public areas, but also the basis of a total experience that will take the Guest on a “musical journey” around the liner.  Like the Costa Luminosa, facilities on board the Costa Pacifica will include the best of the latest innovations offered by Costa:  Samsara spa (over 6000 m²), including the spa itself, conveniently located cabins with direct access, and a dedicated restaurant; a Grand Prix driving simulator; a central lido extending over two decks and fitted with a sliding glass roof as well as a giant 18 m² video screen.

Costa Cruises  is the number one cruise vacation company in Italy and Europe.  For the past 60 years its ships have plied the seas of the world, offering the best in Italian style, hospitality and cuisine and providing dream holidays with the utmost in terms of fun and relaxation.  In 2007 Costa Cruises carried a total of over 1.1 million cruise Guests, a record for the European cruise industry.  Its fleet has a total of 12 ships, all flying the Italian flag, each with her own distinctive characteristics and unique style; together each year, they offer the chance to visit some 250 separate destinations in the Mediterranean, Northern Europe, the Baltic Sea, the Caribbean, South America, the United Arab Emirates, the Far East and the Indian Ocean.  5 more vessels are on order and will enter service by 2012.  Costa Cruises has been certified by RINA (Italian Shipping Register) with the BEST4, an integrated system of voluntary certification of corporate compliance with the highest standards governing social accountability (SA 8000, issued in 2001), environment (UNI EN ISO 14001, 1996), safety (OHSAS 18001, 1999) and quality (UNI EN ISO 9001, 2000).  All the ships in the Costa fleet have been assigned RINA’s Green Star notation certifying that they are operated in compliance with the highest environmental protection standards. Costa Cruises is an official partner of the WWF for the protection of the marine ecoregions of the Mediterranean, the Greater Antilles and Brazil.

Fincantieri is Europe’s leading shipbuilding concern and one of the most important in the world. Headquartered in Trieste the company directly employs approximately 9,300 people.  Fincantieri is world leader in the construction of cruise ships, a reference builder of large ferries and has an important order book in the naval sector. Construction is carried out at ten shipyards, serving six business areas:
· Cruise ships (shipyards at Monfalcone (Gorizia), Marghera (Venice) and Genova-Sestri Ponente);
· Merchant ships (shipyards at Ancona, Castellammare di Stabia (Napoli) and Palermo);
· Ship repairs and conversions (shipyards at Palermo and Bremerhaven);
· Naval vessels (shipyards at Riva Trigoso (Genova) and Muggiano-La Spezia);
· Naval systems and components (shipyards at Riva Trigoso and Bari);
· Mega-yachts (Muggiano shipyard).

The design centres are located in Trieste, the largest in Europe, and Genoa. In addition, the company is also supported by its controlled companies which include: Orizzonte Sistemi Navali, Isotta Fraschini Motori, Fincantieri Marine Systems North America  and CETENA – a Research Centre for Naval Studies.