The Costa Fascinosa, the new flagship of the Italian passenger fleet and Costa Cruises, the largest Italian travel group, will be officially delivered to Costa at the Venice Passenger Terminal on May 5.

The cruise ship, which was built at the Marghera yard by Fincantieri, has successfully completed her sea trials, passing a series of running tests on her systems, machinery and engines, and will be officially handed over to Costa Cruises by the builder Fincantieri the day before her vernissage cruise.

On May 6, the Costa Fascinosa will set sail from Venice bound for Slovenia, Trieste and Croatia on a cruise hosting the 19th edition of the “Champions of the Sea”, an annual event celebrating the best Travel Agents partnering Costa Cruises coming from the 5 continents.

Then, on May 11, the latest addition to the fleet will depart from Venice once again, this time on her inaugural cruise – a 10-day itinerary taking in Greece, Israel and Turkey.  For the rest of the 2012 summer season, until the end of November, the Costa Fascinosa will be operating on 7-day cruises from Venice and Bari to Greece and Croatia.

The total investment made by Costa Cruises for the Costa Fascinosa is worth 510 million euros.  The construction of the ship in Fincantieri’s Marghera shipyard involved the labor of around 3,000 yard workers plus a further 7,000 people employed by about 500 contracted suppliers, most of which are Italian firms.

Since 1990 Costa Cruises has invested 5.8 billion euros in work at Italy’s Fincantieri, T. Mariotti and San Giorgio del Porto shipyards, with a total of 14 ships built or on order, in addition to the refurbishment of other fleet members already in service.

The delivery of the Costa Fascinosa takes places about two months after the delivery of the Costa neoRomantica, the result of the 90 million euro radical refurbishment of the Costa Romantica carried out at the San Giorgio del Porto shipyard in Genoa.

After the Costa Fascinosa, the Costa Cruises fleet expansion program will continue, again at Fincantieri’s Marghera yard, with the construction of a new 132,500-tonner accommodating up to 4928 Guests, making her the largest Italian cruise ship, and due for delivery in October 2014.