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Costa Fascinosa Delivered to Costa Cruises Today in Venice, Italy

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Costa Fascinosa, the new flagship of Costa Cruises, was delivered to the cruise line today by shipbuilder Fincantieri in Venice, Italy. Officially handed over at the Venice Passenger Terminal, Costa Fascinosa -- with sister ship Costa Favolosa -- is the largest Italian-flagged cruise ship afloat.

The delivery ceremony was attended by Italy’s Minister of Tourism Piero Gnudi, and his daughter Elsa served as godmother of the new 114,500-ton, 3,800-guest flagship. At the ceremony, Costa Cruises and Fincantieri made a joint donation to the Papa Giovanni XXIII Community by Father Oreste Benzi for the “Rainbow Project,” which aids children in need worldwide and is supported by Elsa Gnudi.

"The delivery of Costa Fascinosa is an important stepping stone on our company's road to recovery," said Costa Crociere S.p.A. Chairman and CEO Pier Luigi Foschi. "It is confirmation that the long-term fundamentals of our business remain strong, and we will continue to work for our customers, offering them even better cruises on fantastic ships like Costa Fascinosa."

Costa Cruises invested US$668.8 million (510 million euros) in Costa Fascinosa. Construction of the ship at Fincantieri’s Marghera shipyard involved the labor of approximately 3,000 yard workers plus 7,000 more people employed by about 500 contracted suppliers, most of them Italian firms.

“Costa Fascinosa is the living proof of the progress and the results achieved by two great Italian industries jointly contributing to spread a positive image of ‘Made in Italy’ around the world,” said Giuseppe Bono, chief executive officer of Fincantieri. “We are most pleased to have contributed to the success of Costa, an Italian company which proudly flies the Italian flag.”

Since 1990 Costa Cruises has invested US$7.6 billion (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 handover of Costa Fascinosa took place about two months after the delivery of Costa neoRomantica, the result of the US$118 million (90 million euro) radical refurbishment of Costa Romantica. After Costa Fascinosa, the line’s fleet expansion program will continue at Fincantieri’s Marghera yard with the construction of a new 132,500-ton ship due for delivery in October 2014 and accommodating up to 4,928 guests, making it the largest Italian cruise ship.

Costa Fascinosa sets sail from Venice on a preview cruise May 6, bound for Slovenia, Trieste, Italy, and Croatia, and will host the 19th edition of the “Champions of the Sea,” an annual event celebrating Costa Cruises’ best travel agent partners from around the world. On May 11 the ship departs Venice on its inaugural cruise, a 10-day itinerary to Greece, Israel and Turkey. For the 2012 summer season until the end of November, Costa Fascinosa will operate seven-day cruises from Venice and Bari, Italy, to Greece and Croatia. For winter 2012-13 the flagship will be in South America on cruises calling at Brazil, Argentina and Uruguay. For summer 2013 the ship will return to the eastern Mediterranean, sailing weeklong vacations to Greece and Turkey with departures from Venice and Bari.