Costa Crociere continues to make investments to keep its fleet operating at the highest quality standards. Between November and December 2007 no less than 4 ships in the Italian company’s fleet, Europe’s biggest and most modern, were placed in dry-dock to carry out technical maintenance and restyling operations worth a total of 15 million euros.

The works were carried out in the dry-docks of the ports of Genoa and Palermo: the Costa Victoria (from 13 to 23 November) was the guest of the Mariotti shipyards in Genoa; the Costa Marina (from 13 to 25 November) was placed in dry-dock no. 5 of the port of Genoa; the Costa Concordia (from 4 to 14 December) and the Costa Classica (from 20 November to 1 December) were overhauled in the Fincantieri dry-docks of Palermo. The main objective of these operations, which for Costa’s ships are carried out an average of every two and half years, is to perform routine and extraordinary maintenance on the ship’s technical systems and its furnishings. The main purpose of all the various operations is to ensure that the quality and safety of Costa’s ships remains at the highest levels, in both crew and guest areas.
Hull maintenance is one of the most important operations carried out during this kind of ship “check-up”. During these operations the hull, whose length on these vessels ranges from 174 metres (Costa Marina) to 290 metres (Costa Concordia), is completely cleaned and painted to prevent it from eroding due to the effect of atmospheric agents and the sea and to improve its performance at sailing speeds. Instead, for the hotel part, the layout of the public areas and the cabins is completely restyled, replacing furnishings, carpeting, curtains, fabrics, wall linings and, this time, also replacing the cathode ray television sets in the suites with new and modern LCD screens. For what concerns the outer decks, the flooring was replaced with teak.

After completing the dry-dock operations, the 4 ships departed again in perfect shape to meet the challenges of the 2007-2008 winter cruise season:
·    the Costa Marina departed from Savona on a 26-day cruise to Mauritius. In fact, next winter the ship will offer a new and exclusive itinerary to the Indian Ocean, departing from the famous tropical island with calls to Madagascar, Comore, Kenya, Seychelles, Reunion.
·    the Costa Victoria and the Costa Classica are being positioned in South America for cruises to discover beaches and local folklore all the way to the southern tip of the world, Tierra del Fuego, a legendary place described in numerous and fascinating tales and myths.
·    the Costa Concordia will offer 10 and 11-day cruises to Egypt, Turkey, Greece and Cyprus so that guests can enjoy a mild climate even during the winter while searching for ancient treasures.

The ships

Costa Concordia - this ship, which entered service in 2003, weighs in at 114,500 tons, is 290 metres long and carries a total of 3,780 guests. It has innovative and unique features, like the Samsara Spa, an exclusive 6,000 m² wellness centre with restaurant and annexed cabins; 4 swimming pools, 2 with a retractable glass roof, so that guests can take a dip in any climate; a real Grand Prix race car simulator to experience all the thrills of driving a race car on the track. The interiors are inspired by all of Europe’s architectural styles up to the 1900s. This same theme is also part of the numerous works of art on board (about 6,000 including originals and reproductions) created by 35 international artists such as (F.) De Filippi, Omar Galliani, Aldo Spoldi, Nicola Salvatore, Wal, Javier Garcerà.

Costa Victoria - this ship, which entered service in 1996, displaces 75,200 tons, is 252 metres long and carries a total of 2,394 guests. In January 2004 an innovative and unique project was completed: private balconies were installed in 242 cabins and 4 mini-suites. Elegant and refined, the Costa Victoria has a distinctive and modern design, premium furnishings and valuable works of art. Particularly impressive is the Concorde Plaza, a bow saloon surrounded by glass offering a view over the sea, and the Wellness Centre, with a beautiful indoor swimming pool. The ship displays original works by numerous artists, including Gianfranco Pardi and Emilio Tadini.

Costa Classica - Built by Fincantieri in Marghera in 1991, her public areas underwent a major restyling in 2001. This 52,900 dwt ship is 221 metres long and carries a total of 1,680 guests. This elegant cruiser has numerous valuable works of art including the unique Sfera by A. Pomodoro in the main hall. She has a linear and uniform architecture, constant symmetry and some “traditional” shipboard elements, such as circular portholes in the hull and tall, elliptical funnels.

Costa Marina - This ship, which entered service in 1990, displaces 25,600 tons, is 174 metres long and carries a total of 1,000 guests. From January to March 2002 she underwent major restyling. She is noted for the originality of the exterior shape, has wide windows and a stern transom, plus a glass wall facing the restaurant hall and the ballroom, while the superstructure has a glass dome and hosts an elegant lounge & bar. The ship has a classic and elegant style.