The steel-cutting ceremony for the first of two Costa Cruises’ ships to be powered by liquefied natural gas (LNG) was held at Finnish Meyer Turku shipyard on September 13, 2017.
The newbuilding, to be named Costa Smeralda, is set to debut in October 2019 with a sister ship following in 2021.
With a service speed of 17 knots, the new cruise vessel will feature a length of 337 meters and a width of 42 meters. Costa Smeralda will offer cruises in the Western Mediterranean and will be able to accommodate a total of 6,554 passengers and 1,646 crew.
The construction of the Costa Smeralda is part of a strategic plan of Carnival Corporation – a parent company of Costa Cruises – to build seven LNG-powered ships for its 103-ship fleet, starting in fall 2018 when the company’s German-based AIDA Cruises brand introduces AIDAnova.
“The two new Costa Cruises ships are a true innovation and set new standards for the entire sector. They will be among the first cruise ships powered by LNG, spurring the development of this green technology,” Neil Palomba, Costa Cruises’ President, commented.
The two new Costa Cruises’ ships will be powered both in port and on the open sea by LNG. LNG will be stored in special tanks on board ships and will be used to generate 100 percent of the energy required for navigation and onboard services thanks to dual-fuel hybrid engines. LNG bunkering will be provided by Shell Western LNG (Shell).
As informed, Costa Cruises’ ships will be partially built by new machinery and building processes of Meyer Turku. With an investment plan of EUR 185 million, Meyer Turku is aiming to become one of the world’s most modern cruise ship yards.
“These new facilities will prepare us for the increasing international competition. 183 900 GT Costa Smeralda is also a step up in ship size – we need the new facilities to answer to the demand of our customers and to increase our competitiveness for the future,” Jan Meyer, Meyer Turku CEO, pointed out.