The Costa Deliziosa, the latest “jewel” in the fleet of Costa Cruises, the largest Italian travel group and Europe’s favorite cruise line, came through her sea trials successfully.

The new ship – Costa’s 15th fleet member, built at Fincantieri’s Marghera (Venice) shipyard, was put through her paces in the open sea for the first time, with a series of running tests on the ship’s systems, machinery and engines.

During the official trials performed at sea, the Costa Deliziosa was sailed at maximum speed (in excess of 23 knots = 40 km/h), for 8 hours non-stop during the endurance test. A crash stop was also carried out; this maneuver involves the total shutdown of propulsion with full ahead movement to see the distance required to bring the vessel to a total halt in the event of an emergency. During the UMS trial the Costa Deliziosa sailed for 6 hours non-stop using only her automatic control systems for power generation and propulsion. Lastly, the blackout test was conducted whereby all the ship’s control equipment is shut down and reactivated automatically.

After the trials the Costa Deliziosa returned to the yard in Marghera for the final touches on her fitting out, ahead of her imminent entry into service. The Costa Deliziosa will be ready for delivery on January 29, 2010, while her inauguration will take place in Dubai on February 23, 2010, during her Grand Maiden Cruise, which departs from Savona on February 5. This will be the first time a cruise ship has been named in an Arabian city, and the inaugural event promises to be an unforgettable occasion combining traditional Arabian enchantment, reminiscent of “A Thousand and One Nights”, with Costa’s unmistakable Italian style.

The Costa Deliziosa is part of the Italian Company’s fleet expansion program, presently the biggest of its kind in the world, with 5 new ships due to enter service between this year and 2012, for a total investment worth 2.4 billion euros. The Costa Luminosa and Costa Pacifica – christened together on June 5 at a Guinness World Record event – and the Costa Deliziosa will be followed by the Costa Favolosa, due for delivery in summer 2011, and the Costa Fascinosa, which will make her debut in spring 2012. All 5 ships are Italian builds commissioned from Fincantieri, each one with the labor of around 3,000 people, comprising both the shipyard’s own employees and those of about 500 contracted suppliers, most of which are Italian firms.

Costa Deliziosa

Together with her sister ship Costa Luminosa, the Costa Deliziosa represents Costa Cruises’ top of the range offer and is the most exclusive and innovative member of the fleet. All the features of the ship combine to create an experience of “sheer pleasure” that will last the entire length of the cruise vacation. This is readily apparent in her cutting-edge design and use of premium materials such as various types of marble and granite, stucco applied by spatula using the technique known as “spatolato veneziano” and other decorative interior finishes including “parchment scroll” lamé, refined Zebrano wood and Wenge timber, Murano glass, and stylish polished and glazed steel. Featuring in the stunning atrium, very much the focal point here as on all Costa ships, are fine works of art, notably “Sphere” by Arnaldo Pomodoro, Italy’s greatest living sculptor, and “Delizia fisica e Delizia intellettuale” (Physical Delight and Intellectual Delight), a piece by leading contemporary Italian painter Mario Donizetti.

Whether it’s fun or relaxation, there are incredible entertaining things to do on board, all involving the use of leading-edge technology: 4D cinema; roller skating track; the latest generation super-realistic Golf simulator, with a real outside putting green; Grand Prix driving simulator, produced from an original GP car with the same software and technology used by the F1 champion drivers themselves in training; the exclusive 3500 m² “Samsara Spa” wellness centre with the Technogym Kinesis circuit; “PlayStation World”, an area on board dedicated exclusively to PlayStation3, plus the “PlayStation on demand” cabin service.