Costa Cruises has announced an order to build two next-generation cruise ships that will have the largest guest capacity of any cruise ship in the world. The ships will feature a revolutionary “green design”, representing a major environmental breakthrough for the cruise industry; the vessels will be the first in the cruise industry to be powered by Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG), the world’s cleanest burning fossil fuel.
The two ships will be built by Meyer shipyard in Turku, Finland, with delivery expected in 2019 and 2020. Each will exceed 180,000 gross tons, offering more than 2,600 passenger cabins for a total of 6,600 passengers.
Costa’s order is part of a multibillion dollar contract with two Meyer shipyards in Turku (Finland) and Papenburg (Germany) that also includes two new ships for Aida Cruises, the German brand of Costa Group. The contract with Meyer is the result of a larger previously announced deal between Carnival Corporation & plc, the home company of Costa Group, and leading shipbuilders Meyer Werft, Meyer Turku and Fincantieri S.p.A. for nine new ships between 2019 and 2022.
Pioneering a new era in the use of sustainable fuels, Costa’s new ships will be the first in the cruise industry to use LNG in dual-powered hybrid engines to power the ship both in port and on the open sea. LNG will be stored onboard the ships and used to generate 100 percent of the power at sea. This will significantly reduce exhaust emissions, help to protect the environment and support the company’s aggressive sustainability goals.
The new order represents a remarkable employment opportunity for Italy. According to Costa Cruises’ forecast, approximately 750 Italian crewmembers are expected to be hired to work on the two ships. Furthermore Italy will be featured strongly in the onboard experience, the new ships to represent the finest of all things Italian at sea. The thousands of international guests will experience Italian style, hospitality, gastronomy and entertainment.
The new ship order will allow the Costa Group to continue to build on its leadership position in the continental European cruise market – a market in which five out of ten cruise guests in 2014 sailed onboard a Costa Group ship.