The Costa Cruises fleet is growing. And more generally, the company’s ships and those of the entire sector are becoming more and more sustainable. A challenge, which accompanies that of the recovery from a forced stop that the cruise industry has faced and faces knowing how to innovate and invest. Today the new frontier, in terms of environmental impact, is the supply of liquefied natural gas, which makes it possible to reduce emissions.
Costa was one of the first to equip itself with LNG and today it can count on four units powered in this way, one with its logo (Costa Smeralda) and another with that of its sister company Aida (AidaNova) and from today with a third ship , Costa Toscana, delivered to the company by the Meyer shipyard in Turku, followed by Aida Cosma. Just to understand: LNG represents a turning point in terms of improving the environmental performance of cruise ships, both at sea and during stops in port, because it allows to almost completely eliminate emissions of sulfur oxides (zero emissions) and particulate matter (reduction of 95-100%), also significantly reducing emissions of nitrogen oxide (a direct cut of 85%) and CO2 (reduction of up to 20%). “It is a technology we first believed in. This innovation is part of a constantly evolving ecological transition path. In fact, we are also working on experimenting with further innovations, such as fuel cells and batteries, with the aim of arriving at the first ship with net zero emissions ”, anticipates Mario Zanetti, the general manager of Costa Cruises.
Costa Toscana, the new Costa flagship told in a minute
The new flagship
The term “flagship” is beautiful. It dates back to ancient times, to the fleets of galleons or Andrea Doria. At that time it was the ship on which the commander in chief sailed, today it is rather the latest, usually the largest, or in any case the most advanced from a technological point of view and on-board solutions.
Costa Toscana was delivered to the snow-covered company of this strip of Finland, where the Meyer ports of call are located, in Turku to be exact, about 160 km north of Helsinki, formerly the capital. The construction site is located at the mouth of the Aurajoki River, which bathes this city which by its metropolitan area is the second largest in the nation, but which by our standards during the winter is certainly less attractive than Helsinki.
We, however, must talk about the Tuscan coast. A corner of Italy in these lands, where obviously there will be little left. Her first cruise is in fact scheduled for March 5, 2022, departing from Savona and an itinerary in the western Mediterranean that includes stops in Marseille, Barcelona, Valencia, Palermo, Civitavecchia / Rome. From May until mid-October 2022, the itinerary will then change to make room for more seaside destinations, with stops in Savona, Civitavecchia / Rome, Naples, Ibiza, Valencia and Marseille, while from mid-October Palma de Mallorca will replace Ibiza.
The new cruise
The companies are diversifying and integrating their offer. At one time, at the dawn of the sector, the slogan and therefore the proposal focused on the sun, the sea and the hotel industry. Today the range of the offer has widened, to meet the needs of passengers and intercept more targets. The destinations included in the Costa Toscana itineraries, for example, include the National Geographic Expeditions, created in collaboration with the Tour Operator Kel 12, which allow you to discover “unique places accompanied by unique people”, thus the claim, such as archaeologists, oenologists, volcanologists, marine biologists and photographers.
The very concept of a ship is changing. Costa Toscana was conceived as a tribute to Tuscany by the mastermind of the Adam D. Tihany project and by the architectural firms that worked on it (Dordoni Architetti, Jeffrey Beers International, Partner Ship Design and Rockwell Group). So the bridges, the public areas are all a flourishing of names such as Montalcino in Pietrasanta, Viareggio, Montecatini, Lucca, Pienza, Bolgheri, Montepulciano. Thus Piazza del Campo, a large staircase facing aft, on three decks, with an open balcony on the last deck whose crystal floor will make you experience the thrill of flying over the sea. Thus Piazza dei Miracoli, at the bow of the ship, a meeting point for shopping, tasting and entertainment.
A piece of Italy
Then, obviously, many Italian references. The Passeggiata Volare, which reaches the highest point of the ship at a height of 65 meters. The Colosseum, which is the heart of the ship, in the center and spread over three decks, dedicated to shows and with luminous screens positioned on the walls and on the dome, which create a “different story” at every stop and at every moment of the day.
Italy is also represented by the brands that sign the furnishings of the public areas and cabins (2,663, of which 28 suites, 106 rooms with terraces, 1,534 rooms with balconies, 168 external rooms and 827 internal rooms), the gym equipment and the Sole Mio wellness area (beauty salon, sauna, hammam, a thalassotherapy pool, 16 treatment rooms and the snow, salt and relaxation rooms). You can breathe it at the edge of the four swimming pools (one indoor, with salt water) and then, obviously, in most of the 21 restaurants on board. Even in the latter case, the trend is now consolidated: menus by starred chefs, such as Bruno Barbieri, Hélène Darroze and Ángel León and dishes that recall the traditions of the places where the ship will call. I point out the Archipelago restaurant, made up of islands where you can sit down and stay a little more “isolated”, but also in a particular concept, made of unique pieces made with pieces of “driftwood”, woods returned from the sea and recovered by Coast Guardians, which is a Costa initiative for environmental education.
And so we return to the starting point of sustainability. LNG, the daily water requirement of the ship by transforming that of the sea through the use of desalinators, intelligent energy efficiency to reduce consumption, 100% separate collection and the recycling of materials such as plastic, paper, glass and aluminum for the circular economy. But also part of the expenditure at the Archipelago restaurant is donated to the environmental and social projects of the Costa Crociere Foundation. The route is this.