The Costa Favolosa has successfully completed her official sea trials, according to a statement from Costa Crociere. The ship, the 15th in Costa’s fleet, built by the Fincantieri shipyard in Marghera (Venice), completed her trials, during which tests were conducted to verify the correct operation of the various systems, equipment and engines.

During the tests at sea, the Costa Favolosa was brought up to her maximum speed (more than 23 knots = 40 km/h) which was maintained for eight consecutive hours. There was also a “crash stop”, meaning a complete stop at maximum speed to determine in how many meters the ship comes to a stop during an emergency. During the test known as the “UMS”, the Costa Favolosa sailed for six straight hours only using the automatic energy and propulsion system controls. Finally, with the “black out” test, the electric power was cut off to check that all ship functions automatically returned to normal when the power was restored.

After completing her trials, the Costa Favolosa returned to the shipyard, in Marghera, to complete the fitting out of the interiors prior to being placed into active service. The Costa Favolosa will be ready for delivery on June 30, 2011, while the naming ceremony will take place two days later, on July 2 in Trieste. The naming will be a tribute to Italy, and a celebration of characteristic traits of Italian identity: art, beauty, music, personages and history through an extraordinary experience that will involve everything around Piazza dell’Unità d’Italia, from the sea to buildings and the sky.

Thanks to the involvement of institutions – the Friuli Venezia Giulia Region, the Province of Trieste, the city of Trieste, Port Authority of Trieste and the Prefecture – the naming will be a public event, open to the city of Trieste, that on 2nd July will become the stage of the whole Country.

The 114,500-ton Costa Favolosa has accommodations for up to 3,800 guests and will be the largest ship flying the Italian flag. Costa’s total investment is about 420 million euro. The sister ship of the Costa Favolosa, the Costa Fascinosa, currently under construction in the Marghera shipyard, is scheduled for delivery in the spring of 2012. These two ships are part of the Costa group fleet’s 9.6 billion euro expansion plan, which began in 2000. Nine ships will have been delivered from 2003 to 2012 and built in Italy.

As the name suggests (Favola is Italian for “fairy tale”), the Costa Favolosa is a veritable “fairy tale ship,” according to Costa, a “contemporary enchanted castle” with a perfect combination of fabulous atmosphere and state-of-the-art hi-tech fun.  The main innovations on board include: Six new veranda suites with their own jacuzzis; a new entertainment area for teenagers (but other age groups will enjoy it too), with 4D Cinema, PlayStation World, and a bar with ice-cream, drinks and popcorn.  There will also be a new children’s open-air Aqua Park water playground with its own pirate galleon. 

Facilities will combine the very best of the Costa product:  the Samsara Spa, one of the largest and most exclusive wellness centers ever built on a cruise ship; a large central lido extending over two decks, with a sliding glass roof and giant movie screen; a Grand Prix driving simulator; and a golf simulator.  The brand new design aft pool area will be particularly large and inviting:  1,000 square meters of space dedicated to relaxation and entertainment with 160 sun loungers, whirlpool tubs and waterfall. The shipboard gym will offer all the latest state-of-the-art Technogym equipment, including machines with Internet access, so guests can surf Internet update while working out. There is also a Costa Concept Store conceived by Emilio Robba, a designer with an international reputation, offering an exclusive collection of products and souvenirs selected specially for Costa.

"Fabulous" is also the art collection onboard: a total of over 6,000 artworks, including original and multiple, of contemporary artists, both young artists and “grand masters,” specially commissioned by Costa Cruises. Also “Fabulous,” promised Costa, will be the gastronomic experience, with five restaurants to choose from.

The Costa Favolosa’s position at the cutting-edge of cruise ship building technology also extends to environmental compliance. Like other fleet members, the Italian Company’s new flagship will be equipped for shorepower.

The Costa Favolosa is set to make her debut on a three-day vernissage cruise departing from Venice on July 4, 2011, and calling at Dubrovnik (Croatia) and Koper (Slovenia).  This will be followed by her grand inaugural cruise, which leaves Venice on July 7:  an 11-day itinerary to Greece, Turkey and Croatia with stopovers in Bari, Izmir, Istanbul (Turkey), Mykonos, Athens, Olimpia (Greece) and Dubrovnik (Croatia).  Throughout the 2011 summer season the Costa Favolosa will be offering seven-day cruises from Venice and Bari to Olympia (Greece), Izmir and Istanbul (Turkey), and Dubrovnik (Croatia).