With a fleet of 14 ships presently in
service, 3 new ships due for delivery by 2012, a record 1,200,000
total passengers in 2008 and 1,500,000 forecast for 2010, Costa
Cruises has confirmed its position as a leading player in Europe,
where – according to the latest European Cruise Council (ECC)
figures – the expansion of the industry is exceeding expectations
in terms of its impact on jobs, wealth creation and inbound
tourism in Italy and across the continent.
The fourth edition of the “European Cruise
Contribution” report of the ECC, presented on Tuesday in Rome,
shows direct expenditure by cruise companies, shipyards and
passengers of 14.2 billion euros in 2008 (a 10% increase on the
previous year), of which 4.3 billion euros in Italy (+ 9% compared
to 2007), the country which derives the greatest economic benefits
from the cruise industry in Europe (30% of total spending in
A key factor behind this growth is the
increasing number of passengers embarking on cruises from European
ports, up 10% at 4.7 million in 2008.
Italian ports are the
busiest in Europe with 1.7 million departing passengers. There is
a similar pattern for the continent’s transit passengers, who
numbered 21.7 million in 2008 (+14%).
Italy remains Europe’s
favorite cruise destination with 23% of transit passenger
movements, followed by Greece (20%), Spain (17%) and France (8%).
Europe’s position as the world leader in cruise ship design
and construction is also helping to drive this growth: the ECC
report estimates that during 2008 the global cruise industry spent
around 5.2 billion euros on cruise ship construction and
maintenance in Europe, of which 1.5 billion in Italy, once again
the country with the biggest slice of the cake.
2008 also saw
a rise in the number of Europeans taking cruise holidays, up 10%
to 4.4 million. In addition, there was an increase in the number
of people employed in the cruise industry in Europe, with
approximately 311,000 jobs in 2008, 15% more than the previous
In 2008 Costa Cruises
carried a total of 1,200,000 cruise passengers (75% Europeans),
setting a historic record for Europe. What’s more, Costa Cruises
has its sights set on achieving an 1.5 million total in 2010.
In 2008 the Costa Crociere S.p.A. Group (comprising the brands
Costa Cruises, AIDA Cruises and Iberocruceros) recorded total
sales of 2.35 billion euros (+17% compared to 2007).
The Costa Cruises fleet comprises 14
cruise ships (including the Costa Luminosa and Costa Pacifica),
all flying the Italian flag, with total passenger capacity of around
The Italian company also has one
of the biggest order books of any
cruise line anywhere in the world: 5 new builds between 2009 and
2012, all commissioned from Fincantieri and under construction in
Italy, with an overall investment worth almost 2.4 billion euros.
Three of the new ships are due to join the fleet in
less than twelve months. The Costa Luminosa (92,600 gross tonnage
and 2826 total pax), delivered on April 30 this year, will be
followed on May 29 by the Costa Pacifica (114,500 gross tonnage
and 3780 total pax) and at the end of January 2010 by the Costa Deliziosa, sister ship of the Costa Luminosa. Two sister ships of
the Costa Pacifica will join the fleet in spring 2011 and 2012.
AIDa Cruises, the German affiliate of the Costa Group, also
contributes to the development of the European shipbuilding
industry. The AIDAluna (68,500 gross tonnage and 2500 total
pax) entered service in March this year. Another 3 vessels,
each able to accommodate 2500 passengers, are on order from Meyer Werft and due to join the fleet in spring 2010, 2011 and 2012,
with a total investment of over 1 billion euros.
Cruises has commissioned MIP, the Milan Polytechnic School of
Management, to conduct a study assessing the economic benefits
derived from its activity in Italy. According to the initial
results of the survey, the Costa Cruises brand alone produced
total business output in Italy worth at least 1.1 billion euros,
generated by the port calls of Costa’s ships, cruise passenger
movements to and from airports, general expenditure, transport,
fees and taxes, and investment in new ships. Initial estimates
suggest that the regions that benefited most from the activity of
allied industries last year were Liguria, Lombardy, Latium and
Costa Cruises’ strength is also confirmed by
statistics from the main Mediterranean ports. According to the ECC
report, the top 6 EU cruise ports in 2008 were Barcelona (2
million passengers), Civitavecchia (1.8 million passengers),
Naples (1.2 million passengers), Venice (1.2 million passengers),
Palma de Mallorca (1.1 million passengers) and Savona (772.000
passengers). Costa Cruises’ ships accounted for about 30% of the
passengers in these leading 6 Mediterranean ports, with 2.1
cruisers (embarking, disembarking or in transit) last year.
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