A steel cutting ceremony was held at Meyer Turku shipyard, Finland for the first of two Costa Cruises ships to be powered by liquefied natural gas (LNG). The ship will sail in October 2019 with a sister ship following in 2021.
Costa Cruises’ president, Neil Palomba, announced today that newbuild NB-1394 will be named Costa Smeralda, and added, “The two new Costa Cruises ships are a true innovation and set new standards for the entire sector. They will be among the first cruise ships powered by LNG, spurring the development of this green technology.”
Meyer Turku CEO, Jan Meyer, said, “In the last two years, we have had very intense design collaboration with our customer and the outcome is a really fresh and new design fused with the latest of technology. We are happy to bring our experience with building LNG powered passenger ships to bear. Today is a very special moment in shipbuilding, when all the ideas, creativity, technology and signature design that is going into Costa’s new ships, are finally starting to become reality.”
The new ships for Costa Cruises will be partially built with the help of Meyer Turku’s new machinery and building processes. With an investments plan
of €185 million (approximately $220 million), Meyer Turku said it aims aiming to become the world’s most modern cruise shipyard.
“These new facilities will prepare us for the increasing international competition. 183,900 GT Costa Smeralda is also a step up in ship size – we need the new facilities to answer to the demand of our customers and to increase our competitiveness for the future,” Jan Meyer said.
The two new 337-meter-long ships will each exceed 180,000 gross tons and offer more than 2,600 passenger cabins for a total of about 6,600 passengers onboard. They will be RINA classed and Italian flagged.
Offering cruises in Western Mediterranean, Costa Smeralda will be broadly marketed to consumers from Italy, France, Spain, Germany and Switzerland, Costa Cruises said.
LNG bunkering will be provided by Shell Western LNG B.V.