Costa Cruises, Italy's biggest tourism group and the no. 1 cruise company in Europe, today planted 100 young and organically certified olive plants in the Cinque Terre National Park near Castagnoli di Riomaggiore.

Sensitive to the environment, Costa Cruises has decided to make the grand christening of the two latest additions to the fleet, Costa Luminosa and Costa Pacifica, which took place in Genoa on 5th June this year, a "zero impact" event. The carbon dioxide emissions produced during the Guinness world record event, which celebrated the two ships with a grand spectacle of light and music dedicated to Italian products, will therefore be offset by the planting of 100 olive trees, which will repopulate around 2,000 square metres of terraced land in the magnificent Cinque Terre National Park.

Costa Cruises believes in and actively promotes responsible tourism: its shoreside excursions are also organized in accordance with this priority. Costa offers various eco-tourism excursions, comprising visits to parks, oases and nature reserves, with programs that minimize the impact on the ecosystem and create economic opportunities for the local communities.

Environmental compliance has always been one of Costa Cruises’ distinguishing features. Costa Cruises is the only cruise company to have an environmental management system developed according to the latest international standards (UNI EN ISO 14001 2004), and witnessed by a Social and Environmental Report drawn up according to the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) guidelines and certified by RINA (Italian Register of Shipping).

Costa Cruises was also the first company in the world in 2005 to receive the "Green Star" award from RINA (Italian Register of Shipping), a major recognition of its respect for environmental standards relating to the prevention of air and sea pollution, that is actually stricter than the prevailing provisions of the international MARPOL Convention. Further confirmation of its commitment to environmental protection comes from its partnership with W.W.F. Italia – started in 2005 - for conservation and protection of the sea, dedicated this year to a conservation project for the Mediterranean Sea.

In 2007 Costa Cruises endorsed the very first version of the voluntary "Venice Blue Flag" agreement designed to safeguard the environment and heritage of Venice. The initiative, which is promulgated by the local Municipality, Harbor Master’s Office and Port Authority, is designed to reduce air emissions. Under the terms of this major environmental undertaking, Costa Cruises, along with the other signatories to the agreement, adopts standards for all its ships calling in Venice that are actually stricter than the environmental compliance provisions currently in force. For three editions in a row since 2005, the Swiss branch of the tour operator Kuoni has bestowed on Costa Cruises the Green Planet Award, which is the highest seal of eco-approval in the travel and tourism sector, for the exemplary ecological management and performance of its ships, aimed at minimizing their environmental impact.