Costa Fascinosa, the new flagship of Costa Cruises, was delivered to the cruise line on Saturday, May 5, by shipbuilder Fincantieri in Venice, Italy. Officially handed over at the Venice Passenger Terminal, Costa Fascinosa — with sister ship Costa Favolosa — is the largest Italian-flagged cruise ship afloat.
The delivery ceremony was attended by Italy’s Minister of Tourism Piero Gnudi, and his daughter Elsa served as godmother of the new 114,500-ton, 3,800-guest flagship. At the ceremony, Costa Cruises and Fincantieri made a joint donation to the Papa Giovanni XXIII Community by Father Oreste Benzi for the “Rainbow Project,” which aids children in need worldwide and is supported by Elsa Gnudi.
“The delivery of Costa Fascinosa is an important stepping stone on our company’s road to recovery,” said Costa Crociere S.p.A. Chairman and CEO Pier Luigi Foschi. “It is confirmation that the long-term fundamentals of our business remain strong, and we will continue to work for our customers, offering them even better cruises on fantastic ships like Costa Fascinosa.”
Costa Cruises invested US$668.8 million (510 million euros) in Costa Fascinosa. Construction of the ship at Fincantieri’s Marghera shipyard involved the labor of approximately 3,000 yard workers plus 7,000 more people employed by about 500 contracted suppliers, most of them Italian firms.
“Costa Fascinosa is the living proof of the progress and the results achieved by two great Italian industries jointly contributing to spread a positive image of ‘Made in Italy’ around the world,” said Giuseppe Bono, chief executive officer of Fincantieri. “We are most pleased to have contributed to the success of Costa, an Italian company which proudly flies the Italian flag.”
Since 1990 Costa Cruises has invested US$7.6 billion (5.8 billion euros) in work at Italy’s Fincantieri, T. Mariotti and San Giorgio del Porto shipyards, with a total of 14 ships built or on order, in addition to the refurbishment of other fleet members already in service. The handover of Costa Fascinosa took place about two months after the delivery of Costa neoRomantica, the result of the US$118 million (90 million euro) radical refurbishment of Costa Romantica. After Costa Fascinosa, the line’s fleet expansion program will continue at Fincantieri’s Marghera yard with the construction of a new 132,500-ton ship due for delivery in October 2014 and accommodating up to 4,928 guests, making it the largest Italian cruise ship.
Costa Fascinosa sets sail from Venice on a preview cruise May 6, bound for Slovenia, Trieste, Italy, and Croatia, and will host the 19th edition of the “Champions of the Sea,” an annual event celebrating Costa Cruises’ best travel agent partners from around the world. On May 11 the ship departs Venice on its inaugural cruise, a 10-day itinerary to Greece, Israel and Turkey. For the 2012 summer season until the end of November, Costa Fascinosa will operate seven-day cruises from Venice and Bari, Italy, to Greece and Croatia. For winter 2012-13 the flagship will be in South America on cruises calling at Brazil, Argentina and Uruguay. For summer 2013 the ship will return to the eastern Mediterranean, sailing weeklong vacations to Greece and Turkey with departures from Venice and Bari.
The most “seductive” member of the Costa fleet Costa Fascinosa will surprise guests with public areas that are works of art in themselves, with plush furnishings and superb decoration. The Amarcord Atrium will be very much “center stage” with its theatrical grandeur, warm colors and a series of diamond-shaped chandeliers.
A cruise on Costa Fascinosa will be the ideal vacation for families, with lots of opportunities for fun and relaxation for people of all ages. The aft Lido, which is dedicated to the classic movie “Gone With the Wind,” features 3,280 square feet devoted to relaxation and entertainment, with raised whirlpool tubs overlooking the sea, waterfalls and other attractions. Meanwhile, the al fresco Blue Moon Lido has a sliding glass roof and a giant 60-square-foot movie screen showing films and videos.
In the Playground, the Nuovomondo 4D Cinema is a guaranteed crowd pleaser for children and adults with screenings that arouse all five senses. Video gamers will head for the virtual reality of PlayStation with the latest product releases. There also is high-tech fun for adults: an authentic Grand Prix Simulator on the highest deck of the ship, modeled on an original Gran Prix car, reproduces the excitement of the world’s best racing circuits. Golf fanatics or beginners will enjoy the professional golf simulator where they can “play” on 37 of the world’s most famous courses.
The little ones will enjoy the open-air Acqua Park water park playground with its pirate galleon, castle and waterslide.
Costa Fascinosa also will have bow-to-stern broadband Wi-Fi, guaranteeing connectivity for laptops, tablets and mobile phones. The new Digi Mobile platform also will enable guests to use their smartphones and tablets to access the shipboard interactive TV system in their cabins to book programs and services.
Guests will be able to see shows worthy of the Belle Époque in the Bel Ami show lounge, socialize in any one of 13 bars, strut their stuff in the Babylon Disco, check out the live music in the Blue Velvet piano bar or try their luck at the Millionaire Casino, named after the Italian title of the multi-Oscar-winning movie “Slumdog Millionaire.”
Costa Fascinosa also will feature the finest Italian and international cuisine at five restaurants: the à la carte Club restaurant, the Samsara wellness eatery, the self-service buffet with dishes typical of the places visited during the cruise and traditional Mediterranean delicacies in the two main restaurants.
“Timeless appeal” is an apt description of Fascinosa’s art collection. The permanent display will feature specially commissioned original works and copies by contemporary artists, whose starting point was the concept of “appeal” and the world of movies.
A sea of wellness
Costa’s newest ship is ideal for lovers of wellness, with the Samsara Spa, one of the largest wellness centers ever built on a cruise ship, extending over 19,680 square feet, and offering a range of exclusive services and treatments. For guests wishing to fully immerse themselves in a wellness cruise, the facility includes Samsara cabins and suites with direct spa access, including six veranda suites with their own Jacuzzi and spacious balconies, plus relaxation amenities. The gym on Costa Fascinosa is equipped with the latest Technogym machinery incorporating the “Visioweb” digital platform to provide access to the Internet, TV and iPods. The Samsara experience also includes a wellness restaurant serving light tasty dishes.
The strictest environmental standards
Costa Fascinosa is at the cutting edge of safety and environmental protection standards — always a hallmark of Costa Cruises. Like other ships in the fleet, the new flagship will be equipped for “cold ironing,” enabling it to plug into shoreside electric power. On Costa Fascinosa — and this already applies fleetwide — 100 percent of solid waste will be collected separately for recycling and no waste will ever be discharged overboard. Also, most of the water used on the new flagship will be produced on board using desalination plants.
Source: CostaCruise, May 7, 2012