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Costa Cruises and Fincantieri launch Two Ships Simultaneously

Travel News Asia Latest Travel News Podcasts Thursday, 10 July 2008

Costa Cruises and cruise ship builder Fincantieri have launched two ships. The Costa Luminosa and Costa Pacifica, respectively the 13th and 14th members of the Costa fleet, will both enter service next year.

The Costa Luminosa, which will be able to accommodate 2828 guests and is 92,700 gross tonnage, was launched at Fincantieris shipyard in Marghera (Province of Venice). The Costa Pacifica, with a total guest capacity of 3780 and 114,500 gross tonnage, was launched the same day in Genova-Sestri Ponente.

Costa Cruises has invested over 900 million euros in the construction of the two liners, with the labor of around 6000 people, comprising both Fincantieris own employees and those of about 500 contracted suppliers, most of which are Italian firms.

The two ceremonies held to mark what is known as the launch by floating out observed the protocol laid down for such occasions by seafaring tradition. The yard directors invited the two Godmothers a woman who works at the Sestri Ponente shipyard for the Costa Pacifica and the daughter of an employee in the Marghera shipyard for the Costa Luminosa to cut the ribbons and the bottles of champagne duly broke against the bows. After the gradual flooding of the slipways where the two liners have taken shape over the last few months, the hulls of both vessels were transferred to the sea for the first time. In both cases the launch ended with the welding of a coin to the base of what used to be the mainmast in a ceremony traditionally considered to augur well.

This simultaneous launch is a concrete example of the entrepreneurial success of two Italian companies and also a milestone in the expansion of our fleet, which will have 17 ships by 2012, said Costa Cruises S.p.A. Group Chairman & CEO Pier Luigi Foschi. It is also testimony to the major contribution our investments make to the nations economy, reflected by the fact that we are regarded as shining examples of Italian excellence worldwide. The Costa Luminosa and Costa Pacifica combine the very best of the Costa product and add yet more exclusive innovations, setting us even further apart from other tour operators.

Mr. Bono, Fincantieri CEO, added, Launching two ships for Costa Crociere on the same day at two different shipyards - which, in the last fortnight, have also delivered two other ships for two more brands in Carnival Group - is a remarkable industrial performance. The event is not only a showcase for a successful cruise operator but also testifies to Fincantieris organisational capacity and construction expertise, rare qualities nowadays, not only in the shipbuilding sector. Indeed, well managed construction programmes with punctual delivery schedules for cutting edge ships have enabled us to become world leaders in the cruise sector. Last but not least we should remember that activities at Fincantieris shipyards are a driving force spurring growth and development in local economies.

After the launch, work is set to continue for almost a year on the fitting out and interior decoration of both liners. The Costa Luminosa is due for delivery at the end of April 2009, the Costa Pacifica at the end of May 2009.

The two new fleet members will be christened together on June 5, 2009 in Genoa, the city where Costa Cruises this year celebrating its 60th anniversary has always been headquartered. Guests booked to travel on the maiden cruise of either ship will also be able to witness the christening ceremony.

During the simultaneous launch  ceremonies the Company announced the name of the sister ship of the Costa Luminosa, which is scheduled to enter service in spring 2010: she is going to be called the Costa Deliziosa. Costas fleet expansion program includes the introduction of 5 new ships by 2012, all built in Italy by Fincantieri for a total investment worth 2.4 billion euros.

In addition to the Costa Pacifica, Costa Luminosa and Costa Deliziosa, two sister ships of the Costa Pacifica will enter service in spring 2011 and 2012. The Costa Cruises fleet will then be 17-strong and able to carry some 46,400 guests, an increase of 50% on present capacity.

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