Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Costa Lays Keel for New Luminosa in Italy

Costa Cruises laid the keel for the 13th ship in its fleet last week in Italy, at the Fincantieri shipyard in Marghera. Due for delivery in spring 2009, the Costa Luminosa will measure 92,700 tons and offer a double-occupancy capacity of 2,260. The ship will feature the highest number of veranda accommodations (68 percent) in the Costa fleet. The ship will feature the Samsara Spa and accommodations with direct access to the spa. It will also feature a pool deck with a retractable magrodome extending over two pools and a Grand Prix race car driving simulator. In addition, the Costa Luminosa will feature an 18-hole championship golf course simulator.
Costa will also build a sister ship to the Costa Luminosa, scheduled to enter service in March 2010. Both ships will be created at a total cost of over 800 million euros. Costa's fleet expansion program includes the addition of a third ship, the Costa Pacifica, which will leave the Genoa-Sestri Ponente yard in spring 2009 along with the Costa Luminosa. By 2010, the Costa fleet will have 15 ships, all flying the Italian flag. In 2007, Costa ships have been making regular stopovers in Venice and Trieste, with more than 280,000 guest visits and generating income of 12 million euros.
In 2007, Costa ships will make a total of 58 calls in Venice, the homeport for the Costa Mediterranea and Costa Serena, with 260,000 passenger movements (a 4 percent increase over 2006), and equivalent to approximately 23 percent of all cruisers in the port of Venice. The estimated local revenue generated by Costa's guests visiting Venice totals 11 million euros. Next summer season will see the return of the Costa Serena's seven-night cruises to Greece and Turkey, while the Costa Mediterranea will be replaced by an even larger ship, the Costa Fortuna (102,600 tons with a double occupancy of 2,720). The number of calls will increase to 66 with a 27 percent increase in total guests to 330,000.
The Costa Marina called at Trieste 19 times this year (an increase of 26 percent over 2006), with a total of 23,000 passenger movements, generating income in excess of 1 million euros for the city. A further increase is expected in 2008 as Trieste will become the homeport for the Costa Classica (53,000 tons with a double occupancy capacity of 1,308), bringing 37,000 guests, a 60 percent increase.

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