At today’s press conference in Genoa, from left:  Howard Frank, vice chairman and COO of Carnival Corporation; Micky Arison, chairman and CEO of Carnival Corporation; Pier Luigi Foschi, chairman of Costa Crociere; Giuseppe Bono, president  of Fincantieri;  Margherita Bozzano, director of tourism for the Liguria region; and Marta Vincenzi, mayor of Genoa.

Costa Crociere announced it has received a 550 million euro loan from the EIB, the European Investment Bank, to help finance the construction of four new vessels. The financing will be made available to Costa over a three-year period, coinciding with the deliveries of new ships. It is the first time the EIB has offered financing based on a cruise line’s newbuilding program, according to Costa.

(from left) Ilaria d”Amico, master of ceremonies for the christening of Costa’s two new ships; Olympic and world fencing champion Valentia Vezzali, who will christen the Costa Luminosa; and NOA, Israeli singing star, who will christen the Pacifica.

EIB stated that Costa contributes more than 100 million euro a year in tourism revenues in the Baltic and the Mediterranean, where its ships sail, and significant employment in the areas in Italy that are within the EIB’s areas of interest.