Costa Cruises has announced plans to build the “next generation” of cruise ship, placing an order for what will be the two largest passenger vessels in the world based on total capacity.
With over 2,600 guest cabins apiece, each ship will be able to accommodate up to 6,600 passengers. This is around 300 more than the current record-holder, Royal Caribbean’s Allure of the Seas, which has a maximum guest capacity of 6,296.
The new additions to the Costa fleet will also be the most environmentally friendly cruise ships ever built, it claims. In an effort to drastically reduce exhaust emissions, both will carry Liquefied Natural Gas to power the dual-powered hybrid engines, the first ever cruise ships to do so.
They will rely solely on the natural gas (a relatively clean-burning fuel), instead of the combination of gas turbines and diesel that most cruise ships use, thus cutting down dramatically on carbon emissions.
“The two Costa ships are a real innovation for the market, setting new standards for the whole industry,” says Neil Palomba, President of Costa Cruises. “The order also confirms that the Costa brand will continue to grow, becoming even stronger and keep on generating a positive economic impact in the main countries where it operates, including Italy.”
Mr Palomba further iterated that the new ships will be an expression of the Costa's new positioning, "Italy's finest", drawing on the company's national heritage to further define its brand. According to the press release, Italian "style, hospitality, gastronomy and entertainment” will be central to the passenger experience, while Costa expects to hire approximately 750 Italian crewmembers.
The two new ships, each exceeding 180,000 gross tons, will be built by Meyer shipyard in Turku, Finland, and are expected to be completed in 2019 and 2020.
They form part of a larger, multibillion dollar contract between Carnival Corporation (of which Costa is a subsidiary) and several major European shipyards for nine new ships between 2019 and 2022.
Costa’s German brand, Aida Cruises, will also gain two new ships as part of the deal.
By Tom Mulvihill, The Telegraph
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