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MIAMI — The first steel cut has been made on the Costa Toscana, Costa Cruises’ second ship to be powered in port and at sea by liquefied natural gas (LNG).
The steel-cutting ceremony, which took place at the Meyer Turku shipyard in Finland, is “another step forward” in the cruise line’s sustainable development plan,” said Neil Palomba, president of Costa Cruises. “LNG propulsion for cruise ships is a major innovation, pioneering a new era in the use of low-carbon fuels that will significantly reduce exhaust emissions to help protect the environment without compromising on safety, in line with our top priorities.”
Costa Toscana follows on the heels of Costa Smeralda, the company’s first ship to be powered by LNG. Smeralds is nearing completion at the same shipyard and will enter service in October. Costa Toscana is expected to be delivered in 2021.
Both ships are part of the Costa Group’s fleet expansion plan that includes a total of seven new ships scheduled to enter service by 2023. As the Italian brand of Carnival Corporation & plc, Costa Group is comprised of Costa Cruises, Costa Asia and AIDA Cruises.
“Once again, Costa Cruises is paving the way for the industry as a whole: in accordance with our global vision aimed at sustainable development, we were the first to invest in this technology, which is now really starting to take hold,” added Palomba. “However, a lot remains to be done in terms of the ready availability of gas bunkering infrastructure to ensure the seamless transition to LNG. Costa Toscana and her sister ship Costa Smeralda may be highly innovative products, but they will retain that inimitable Italian hospitality that has been Costa Cruises’ hallmark since the brand’s inception.”
Each ship was named after iconic Italian destinations – Tuscany and the Smeralda coast. On Costa Smeralda, guests will find 11 restaurants, including one specifically for casual family dining, 19 bars, a spa area with 16 treatment rooms, an onboard waterpark with waterslides, four pools and a dedicated kids facility. It will also boast its own museum – the CoDe-Costa Design Museum – that will showcase the excellence of Italian design.
Costa Smeralda is set to debut on Oct. 20 with a 15-day preview cruise from Hamburg to Savona. Its official naming ceremony will take place on Nov. 3 in Savona before being deployed in the Western Mediterranean through April 2021.
Costa Toscana’s cruise program will be announced in the next few months.