The Costa Deliziosa (92,600 gross tonnage and 2862 total Guests), the latest “diamond” in the fleet of Costa Cruises, the largest Italian travel group and Europe’s n.1 cruise company, has been delivered in Venice by Fincantieri, the leading cruise ship builder globally.
Built at Fincantieri’s Marghera (Venice) yard with the labor of around 3,000 people, comprising both the shipyard’s own employees and those of about 500 contracted suppliers, most of which are Italian firms, the Costa Deliziosa – an emblem of “Italian made” excellence – entailed a total investment worth 450 million euros.
The Costa Deliziosa is the third ship delivered by Fincantieri to the Italian Company in less than 9 months, and is part of a 2.4 billion euro fleet expansion program with 5 new liners entering service between 2009 and 2012. The Costa Luminosa and Costa Pacifica – christened together on June 5, 2009 at a Guinness World Record event – and the Costa Deliziosa will be followed by the sister ships Costa Favolosa, due for delivery in summer 2011, and the Costa Fascinosa, which will make her debut in spring 2012. All 5 ships are Italian builds commissioned from Fincantieri and their introduction will lead to a 50% increase in capacity for the Costa fleet, Europe’s largest, which by 2012 will be 16-strong with accommodation for 45,000 total Guests.
“The delivery of the Costa Deliziosa, just nine months after her sister ship Costa Luminosa and the Costa Pacifica, is another milestone in our expansion program entailing a total investment worth 2.4 billion euros and the arrival of five new liners by 2012, all built in Italy by Fincantieri,” said Costa Crociere S.p.A. Chairman & CEO Pier Luigi Foschi. “This expansion is clear confirmation of the strength of our Company, the popularity of our product and appreciation of its quality. In 2009, a year marked by a global downturn, approximately 1.3 million customers worldwide chose Costa Cruises, with growth of 8% compared to the year before, in line with the increase in fleet capacity. Vacations are one of our customers’ top priorities,” Mr. Foschi added, “and Costa meets their demands by offering increasingly stunning and innovative ships that turn their holiday dreams into dream holidays.”
"This splendid ship - commented Giuseppe Bono, Fincantieri's Chief Executive Officer - is the third vessel which Fincantieri has delivered to Costa Crociere in the last nine months, a remarkable industrial performance unrivalled in the history of shipbuilding. We have an important partnership with Costa, building ships thanks to which our two companies take a marvellous image of "made in Italy" around the world every day. Today however - ended Mr Bono - we are facing a tough competitive scenario. Yet this does not demotivate us, indeed we are spurred to work on product and process and are ready to do everything in our power to continue to build the most beautiful ships in the world."
The delivery ceremony took place this morning at the Venice Passenger Terminal before an invited audience of dignitaries, including the Honorable Renato Brunetta, Minister for Public Administration and Innovation of the Italian Government.
The evocative event observed the protocol laid down for such ceremonial occasions by Italian seafaring tradition, in which Costa Cruises has long played a leading role. After the blessing of the vessel by His Excellency, Archbishop Antonio Maria Vegliò, president of the Pontifical Council for Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant People, the Italian Tricolor was raised in what was a key symbolic moment both for Costa and for the shipyard – two leading Italian enterprises that have been partners in an alliance dating back decades.
Meanwhile, the inaugural event for the Costa Deliziosa, with the traditional breaking of the bottle against the bows, is scheduled for February 23, 2010 in Dubai at the new Cruise Terminal at Port Rashid, in the presence of Guests on board the liner during her Grand Inaugural Cruise, which departs from Savona on February 5. The Costa Deliziosa will be the first cruise ship ever to be christened in an Arabian city, and the inauguration promises to be an unforgettable occasion combining traditional Arabian enchantment, reminiscent of “A Thousand and One Nights”, with Costa’s unmistakable Italian style, thus consolidating the Italian Company’s links with the region.
Together with her sister ship Costa Luminosa, the Costa Deliziosa (www.costadeliziosa.com) represents Costa Cruises’ top of the range offer and is the most exclusive and innovative member of the fleet. All the features of the ship combine to create an experience of “sheer pleasure”. This is readily apparent in her cutting-edge design and use of premium materials such as various types of marble and granite, stucco applied by spatula using the technique known as “spatolato veneziano” and other decorative interior finishes including “parchment scroll” lamé, refined Zebrano wood and Wenge timber, Murano glass, stylish polished and glazed steel, and 970 La Murrina chandeliers. Featuring in the stunning atrium, very much the focal point here as on all Costa ships, are fine works of art, notably “Sphere” by Maestro Arnaldo Pomodoro, and “Physical delight and intellectual delight” by leading contemporary Italian painter Maestro Mario Donizetti.
The Costa Deliziosa is an ultramodern ship also in terms of environmental compliance, which has always been one of Costa Cruises’ distinguishing features. Indeed, the Italian Company stands out on account of its environmental excellence and innovation. Like her sister ship Costa Luminosa, the Costa Deliziosa is the first vessel in Italy and one of the first in the world to be equipped for “cold ironing”, namely a system whereby the ship is plugged into shoreside electrical power, enabling generators to be shut down during stopovers in port. This is a way of further reducing the environmental impact of liners when they call at ports. Other energy- and fuel-saving measures have also been introduced on the Costa Deliziosa, with a reduction in CO2 emissions and the objective of cutting down on wastage in the use of electricity and water.
Whether it’s fun or relaxation, there are an incredibly large number of entertaining things to do on board the Costa Deliziosa, all involving the use of leading-edge technology: 4D cinema; roller skating track; the latest generation super-realistic Golf simulator, with a real outside putting green; Grand Prix driving simulator, produced from an original GP car with the same software and technology used by the F1 champion drivers themselves in training; the exclusive 3500 m² “Samsara Spa” wellness centre with the Technogym Kinesis circuit, a world first; and “Playstation World”, an area on board dedicated exclusively to PlayStation3, plus the “PlayStation on demand” cabin service.
In winter 2009/2010 the Costa Deliziosa and Costa Luminosa will be positioned in the Arabian Gulf and will be offering 7-day cruises with 2 nights in Dubai and one-day stopovers in the ports of Muscat (Oman), Fujairah (United Arab Emirates), Abu Dhabi (United Arab Emirates) and Bahrain. The Costa Deliziosa will be sailing from Dubai every Sunday from March 14 through May 9, 2010; the Costa Luminosa is departing every Saturday from December 12, 2009 through April 10, 2010. In addition to the two diamonds of the Costa fleet, the Costa Europa is offering a new itinerary: 18-day cruises from Savona to Dubai and Dubai to Savona – on an exclusive route crossing the Mediterranean, the Suez Canal and the Red Sea. Costa Cruises was the first Company to market regular cruises in the Arabian Gulf, turning Dubai into a major cruise destination and contributing to its growth as a tourist resort; according to current forecasts, Costa will make more than 32 calls in Dubai this year with 140,000 passenger movements. In the 2010 summer season, the Costa Deliziosa and Costa Luminosa will be operating on cruises in Northern Europe.
Testimony to the Company’s reputation for innovation and reflecting its pioneering spirit, Costa Cruises’ brand new 2011 brochure – available soon at leading travel agencies – features the return of the historic “round-the-world” cruises, on the Costa Deliziosa herself: this splendid 100-day trip of a lifetime can be broken down into three stand-alone segments (Savona-Los Angeles; Los Angeles-Singapore; Singapore-Savona) providing an authentic travel experience and the opportunity to follow in the wake of the world voyages of yesteryear while enjoying world-class amenities.