Costa Smeralda, Costa Cruises’ flagship, departed Saturday from the port of Savona on a weeklong cruise. It is the first ship of the Italian company to resume operations in 2021, officially kicking off the summer season, which will see a total of four Costa ships cruising the Mediterranean.
The restart of Costa Smeralda was celebrated at the Palacrociere terminal, attended by Costa Cruises President Mario Zanetti, Mayor of Savona Ilaria Caprioglio, President of the Western Ligurian Sea Port Authority Paolo Emilio Signorini and Captain of Savona Coast Guard Francesco Cimmino.
“This year, the 1st of May takes on a special meaning for Costa Cruises: on Labor Day, our Company is resuming its operation, celebrating the resumption of work, for us and for the entire allied industries. We are delighted to be starting off again from a Ligurian port, from the region that has been our home for over 70 years,” said Mario Zanetti president of Costa Cruises. “The cruise and tourism sector is essential for the recovery of the Italian economy. Suffice it to say that, before the pause due to the Covid-19 emergency, our company generated an economic impact of €3.5 billion (US$4.24 billion) at national level, with over 17,000 direct and indirect jobs, working with about 5,000 partners. We hope that today’s restart will be a sign of a return to normality, for us, for our guests, whom we are pleased to welcome back onboard, and for all the suppliers working in our sector.”
Costa Smeralda’s first cruise features an all-Italian itinerary, departing Savona and calling at Civitavecchia (Rome), Naples, Messina, Cagliari and La Spezia. Guests can choose to book the entire itinerary for a weeklong holiday or split it into three- and four-day mini-cruises.
Health and safety procedures have been enhanced through the adoption of the Costa Safety Protocol, developed by the company together with scientific experts and Italian authorities, which contains operational measures related to all aspects of the cruise experience, both on board and ashore. The measures include a reduction in the number of guests; swab tests for all guests before embarkation and after half of the cruise; swab tests for the crew before embarkation and regularly during their stay on board; temperature checks every time guests disembark and re-enter the ship and every time they enter restaurants; visits to destinations only on protected excursions; social distancing on board and in the terminals; new ways of using onboard services; enhanced sanitation and medical services; and the use of protective masks when necessary.
As for the holiday experience, guests will be able to enjoy new features, including a totally renewed excursion program, which will allow them to discover off-the-beaten-path destinations, exclusively for Costa guests, and new menus, with dishes related to locations visited on the itinerary.
Costa’s restart takes place with the most advanced ship in the fleet in terms of reducing environmental impact. Costa Smeralda is the first cruise ship of the company to be powered by LNG, the most advanced propulsion technology currently available for reducing emissions. The ship’s entire daily water requirements are met by directly transforming seawater using desalinators; energy consumption is reduced to a minimum thanks to an intelligent energy efficiency system; waste is managed on board with 100% separate collection for recycling of plastic, paper, glass and aluminum.
Costa Smeralda is the first of a total of four ships that will operate for Costa in summer 2021, offering cruises in the Mediterranean. Costa Luminosa will restart May 16, offering weeklong cruises to Greece. On June 26 Costa Deliziosa will begin sailing one-week cruises to Greece. On July 4 Costa Firenze, the new ship inspired by the Florentine Renaissance, will start sailing a one-week itinerary in Italy. Alongside the return of Costa Firenze, from July 3 Costa Smeralda will be back on international itineraries, with weeklong cruises calling in Italy, France and Spain.
“The restart of Costa Cruises on the occasion of the Labor Day takes on a strong symbolic value and must be a good omen for the recovery of an important economic sector such as tourism. The municipality of Savona is pleased to celebrate this restart with Costa Cruises, after very difficult months of health, economic and social crisis, in the 25th year of the Company’s presence in Savona. Savona is ready to welcome cruise passengers again,” said Ilaria Caprioglio, mayor of Savona.