CruiseAs Costa Toscana floats out in Finland, Costa Smeralda hits crane while docking in Italy.

Costa's celebration for one, renovation for another

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Costa_ToscanaVIPdeck
VIP deck of Costa Cruises' new flagship Costa Toscana.

Costa Cruises, the Italian arm of Carnival Corporation, marked the float-out ceremony of its new flagship Costa Toscana from the Meyer shipyard in Turku, Finland on 15 January,

This is also Costa Group's third ship, after Costa Smeralda and AIDAnova, to be powered by liquefied natural gas (LNG), the marine industry’s answer to reducing emissions at sea and during port calls. The brand — which includes Costa Cruises, Germany-based AIDA Cruises and Costa Asia — was the first in the cruise industry to introduce the LNG technology.

Costa Toscana will run like a 'smart city' — think sustainable solutions and circular economy concepts onboard, such as special desalinisation plants and an intelligent energy efficiency system. As well, all recyclable materials such as plastic, paper, glass and aluminium will be collected and sorted separately.

Besides LNG technology, other innovative solutions in the works include shore power and batteries, as the cruise line continues to "work towards achieving zero emissions over time", said Mario Zanetti, chief commercial officer of Costa Cruises and president of Costa Group Asia.

Costa Cruises' new flagship Costa Toscana at the Meyer shipyard in Turku, Finland.
Costa Cruises' new flagship Costa Toscana at the Meyer shipyard in Turku, Finland.

On the aesthetics front, the ship's design will be a tribute to Tuscany, from furnishings and fabric to lighting and accessories, all made in Italy.

Facilities carry on the Italian theme, across the Solemio Spa, themed bars in collaboration with major Italian brands. Activities abound, cooking under the tutelage of chefs at the Lab Restaurant, the three-deck deep theatre space Colosseo, thrilling see-through crystal flooring on the top deck, as well as four pools plus a new beach club. 16 F&B restaurants will support the more than 2,600 cabins available for bookings.

Once its interior fittings are completed, Costa Toscana is expected to begin service come December this year in Brazil for the 2021-22 season. Its inaugural New Year's Eve cruise will depart from Santos on 26 December 2021, with a week-long itinerary visiting Salvador and Ilhéus, before returning to Santos on 2 January, 2022.

An expansion plan will see seven new ships delivered to Costa Group by 2023, marking an investment of more than six billion euros (US$ 7.31 billion).

A hitting incident at the Italian port of Savona caused one lifeboat of Costa Smeralda to be damaged.
A hitting incident at the Italian port of Savona caused one lifeboat of Costa Smeralda to be damaged. Photo Credit: Crocieristi Italiani's Facebook page

In other news, sister ship Costa Smeralda hit a shoreside crane while approaching the Savona Port, Italy on 22 January.

There were no damages to the hull, although a lifeboat was badly crushed and fell partially into the water. The world's fifth largest ship also damaged the terminal's silo system and shore cranes, which were pushed off their rails.

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