MIAMI, Sept 7: Work is underway at Fincantieriâ€™s Marghera (Venice) yard on the construction of the Costa Fascinosa, the 16th fleet member of Costa Cruises, Europeâ€™s Number One Cruise Line, which is due to enter service in spring 2012. The keel-laying of the ship took place last Friday, comprising the first section of the hull, a block 12 meters long and weighing in at 295 tons. The Costa Fascinosa, sister ship of the Costa Favolosa, will be able to accommodate up to 3,780 Guests and will be 114,500 gross tons.
In total, two new Costa cruise ships are currently under construction in the Fincantieri shipyard. In addition to the Costa Fascinosa, work is proceeding on the Costa Favolosa, which was launched by floating out in Marghera on August 6 this year and is set to make her debut in July 2011. The construction of each new building involves the labor of around 3000 people, comprising both Fincantieriâ€™s own employees and those of about 500 contracted suppliers, most of which are Italian firms.
Costa Cruisesâ€™ fleet expansion program began in 2000 and provides for the entry into service by 2012 of 13 ships, nine of which were built in Italy by Fincantieri. Three of the new liners were delivered in less than 12 months, between spring 2009 and the start of this year, while the Costa Favolosa will be joining the fleet in summer 2011. In 2012 with the arrival of the Costa Fascinosa, the Costa Cruises fleet will be 16-strong.
Since 2000 the Costa Crociere S.p.A. Group (comprising Costa Cruises as well as the number one brand for the German market AIDA Cruises and Iberocruceros, which operates mainly for the Spanish- and Portuguese-speaking markets) has continued to develop its ambitious investment plan for the expansion of the fleet. The most recent new building was announced only a few weeks ago with a total outlay now worth over 9.6 billion Euros. The Group recently commissioned the German shipyard Meyer Werft to build a new ship for the AIDA Cruises brand, a 71,300 gross tonnage liner with 2,192 total guests, which will be ready for service in 2013. By virtue of this further addition and based on the current size of the fleet, in three yearsâ€™ time the Costa Crociere S.p.A. Group will comprise some 30 ships.
Costa Cruises is Italyâ€™s largest tourism group and Europeâ€™s Number One Cruise Line. For more than 60 years its ships have sailed the seas of the world, offering the best in Italian style, hospitality and cuisine and providing dream vacations filled with fun and relaxation. The companyâ€™s 14 fleet members, each with her own distinctive characteristics and unique style, all fly the Italian flag and sail each year to 250 destinations in the Mediterranean, Northern Europe, the Baltic Sea, the Caribbean, Canada/New England, South America, the United Arab Emirates, the Far East and the Indian Ocean. Two more new ships are due to enter service by 2012. For more information on Costa Cruises or to make reservations, please contact a travel agent, call (800) GO-COSTA or visit www.costacruises.com.