Work is proceeding at Fincantieri’s Marghera shipyard on the construction of the Costa Luminosa, the next flagship of the Costa Cruises fleet. Two blocks have been laid in the building-graving dock; they weigh 444 and 280 tons and will constitute the “heart” of the ship’s theater. The new show lounge will have seating capacity of over 800 and be arranged as a huge amphitheater on three levels at the fore end of the liner.
Delivery of the Costa Luminosa, which will be 92,700 gross tonnage and provide accommodations for 2828 Guests, is scheduled for April 2009. The new flagship will be one of a kind, though like other ships in the history of Costa Cruises she will be ahead of the times in terms of design and represent a perfect blend of service excellence and stunning, plush settings. The Costa Luminosa will combine the very best of the innovative Costa product designed to satisfy even the most discerning customer: wellness, entertainment, exclusive itineraries, art, fine food & wine, relaxation, great atmosphere, intimate settings for couples and families. Indeed, the theater, on which work commenced with the laying of the 2 building blocks, is one of the leading-edge innovations with regard to the shipboard entertainment. It is a highly sophisticated structure which will have a surface area of 1300 m², height of about 10 meters, and seating capacity of over 800; the show lounge will feature amenities and technology setting an example for similar entertainment facilities built ashore. In particular, advanced “LED” technology will ensure a special effects capability so spectacular as to constitute, in itself, a “show within the show”.
Like all the show lounges of the Costa fleet, the theater on the Costa Luminosa will be used for Costa Cruises’ own “in-house” musical shows: Broadway-scale productions based on a central theme with specially designed, original stage sets and costumes and a cast of up to 14 singers and dancers. Each cruise offers two or three original shows lasting about 45 minutes, with two performances daily.
The Costa fleet currently includes a total of 12 theatres, one on each ship, with seating capacities ranging from 300 to over 1350; on board there are more than 140 professional performing artists, plus 50 lighting and sound engineers. The use of the latest techniques and equipment means that the standard of the shows on board is comparable with that of the most advanced entertainment centers ashore.
The theaters on the most recent flagships feature cutting-edge technology such as a digital audio console enabling full automation of all operations (microphone mute, control of sound effects, synchronization with the hard disk player and the lighting console, video direction and stage automation), an advanced “Dolby surround” system delivering enhanced rich stereo sound throughout the auditorium, a fully automated stage controlled by a PC with dedicated software controlling the opening and closing of curtains, a remote control of the flying bars, a turntable stage and revolving music bandstand. In addition, there is a full-fledged “laser show” which can project film clips and images, consisting of two monochromatic beams and one multicolor beam plus 26 mirrors arranged in the theater.
Costa Cruises currently has 12 ships in service and 5 on order, the biggest order book of any cruise line anywhere in the world; by 2012 the Costa fleet will be 17-strong with total Guest capacity of 46,400. In addition to the Costa Luminosa, 4 more new builds have been ordered: one 92,700 gross tonnage vessel and three 114,500-tonners, to be built in Marghera and Genoa Sestri Ponente by Fincantieri. Costa’s fleet expansion program, which began in 2000, entails a total outlay of 5.5 billion euros with the addition of 13 new fleet members from 2000 to 2012.