Assembly work has started at the Meyer shipyard in Turku on the hull of Costa Toscana, the second ship in the Costa Cruises fleet to be powered by liquefied natural gas, the “cleanest” fossil fuel in the world.
Costa Toscana is the sister ship of Costa Smeralda, which came into service on December 21. Thanks to the use of liquefied natural gas, an innovation that the Costa Group was the first to introduce in the cruise sector, this new class of low environmental impact ships can virtually eliminate sulfur dioxide emissions (zero emissions) and particulate matter (95-100% reduction), also significantly reducing emissions of nitrogen oxides (85% direct reduction) and CO2 (reduction of up to 20%). Costa Toscana and Costa Smeralda are part of an expansion plan that includes a total of seven new ships being delivered to the Costa Group by 2023, for a total investment of over six billion euros. As many as five of these ships are fueled by LNG.
Costa Toscana Construction
The start of hull assembly work on Costa Toscana was celebrated with a ceremony involving the top management of Costa Cruises and the Meyer Turku shipyard. The mayor of Turku, Minna Arve, was chosen as the godmother of the event. According to naval tradition, during the ceremony, a number of commemorative coins were placed on the keel of the ship as a symbol of good wishes for members of the crew, passengers and future journeys. Over the next few weeks, the ship will begin to take shape in the shipyard’s dry dock, where a large section of the hull has already been positioned. This measures 100 meters and corresponds to the “floating engine room unit” (FERU), containing the ship’s engines.
“This symbolic moment in the construction of Costa Toscana marks a further step forward in the use of LNG in the cruise sector. We were the first in the world to believe in this innovation five years ago, when we ordered these new ships, starting a transformation process toward make tourism increasingly sustainable” – said Neil Palomba, President of Costa Cruises. “LNG is currently the solution that allows the best and most immediate results to be achieved in terms of reducing the environmental impact of ships.”
“We are always building on the experiences from previous ships, but Costa Toscana will also have totally new design in many features to inspire the passengers. Today is the day when this all starts to become visible in the form of one beautiful ship” – said Jan Meyer, CEO of Meyer Turku.
Powered By LNG
The use of LNG on cruise ships for the first time is an integral part of a bigger responsible innovation project promoted by the Costa Group to reduce the environmental impact of its fleet. Around 70% of the group’s ships currently in service are fitted with exhaust gas cleaning systems called Advanced Air Quality Systems, which guarantee the almost complete elimination of sulfur oxides, a 75% reduction in particulate and a substantial reduction in nitrogen oxides. The Costa Group is also a pioneer in the use of “shore power” – which allows ships to be powered with electricity from land while they are docked – and is making big investments to equip all its ships currently in service with this technology. The company is also trialing the use of lithium-ion batteries and fuel cells on some of its ships.
The inaugural cruise of Costa Toscana will leave Hamburg on June 28, 2021: 14 days with a final destination of Savona and a program that includes long calls of two days and one night in Lisbon, Barcelona, and Marseille, three of Europe’s most beautiful seaside cities. During summer 2021 and until the first week of November, Costa Toscana will offer one-week cruises to discover the culture, art, and beaches of the western Mediterranean, calling at Savona, Naples, Cagliari, Palma de Mallorca, Barcelona, and Marseille. From mid-November 2021 to Easter 2022 inclusive, the itinerary will still last one week but will change to visit two of the best-loved Italians cities of art: Savona, Marseilles, Barcelona, Palma de Mallorca, Palermo, and Civitavecchia/Rome. Cruises on Costa Toscana are already available for booking online or through travel agents.
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