Today, Costa Toscana, the newest Costa Cruises cruise ship, is sailing from Savona, Italy. The maiden voyage for the liquefied natural gas-powered vessel marks another step forward for Costa Cruises, with the expectation that the entire fleet will be operational by summer.
The new flagship for Costa Cruises will sail from Savona today and visit ports in the western Mediterranean such as Marseille, Barcelona, Valencia, Palermo, and Civitavecchia. She will sail in the area through November 2022, at which point she will set sail towards Brazil.
Costa Toscana Sailing On Maiden Voyage
The newest Excellence-class cruise ship for Carnival Corporation is sailing from Savona, Italy, today on her very first cruise with guests. Costa Toscana is the second LNG-powered cruise ship sailing for Costa Cruises and the fourth for the Costa Cruises division, which includes AIDA cruises.
After a slight delay in delivery of the new ship due to a pandemic, the time has come for the first guests to board the Costa Toscana in Costa’s homeport in the Mediterranean.
Mario Zanetti, President of Costa Cruises: “Costa Toscana is an innovative ship that fully interprets the new cruise experience, including the exploration of destinations, on which we have been working in recent months.”
“The departure of Costa Toscana also represents a new step in the journey that will bring our fleet back to full capacity this summer. Our restart will bolster an ecosystem that before the pandemic generated an annual economic impact of 12.6 billion euros in Europe, including 3.5 billion in Italy alone, with over 63,000 jobs.”
During the first one-week Mediterranean cruise, which is scheduled to set sail at 6 PM CET, the ship will visit classic destinations in Italy, Spain, and France, including Marseille, Barcelona, Valencia, Palermo, and Civitavecchia. Costa Toscana will visit Savona, Rome, Naples, Ibiza, Valencia, and Marseille during the summer. During the fall, Ibiza will be replaced by Palma de Mallorca.
The Costa Toscana will be deployed in the Mediterranean until November 2022. The ship will be based in Santos, Brazil, during the 2022/2023 winter season.
The styling of the new Costa ship pays homage to the Italian region of Tuscany. Star designer Adam D. Tihany, who also designed the Seabourn cruise ships, has designed the ship; the furniture, lighting, fabrics, and accessories are all made in Italy.
The 183.900 gross tonnes cruise ship boasts more than twenty-one restaurants and bars for the 5322 guests onboard. The sister ships of Costa Toscana include Costa Smeralda for Costa Cruises; AIDAnova and AIDAcosma sailing for german cruise operator AIDA; Iona and Arvia, sailing for P&O UK, and Carnival Mardi Gras for Carnival Cruise Line.
Thanks to the use of LNG, the vessel has all but eliminated the emission of Sulphur oxides, particulate matter (95-100% reduction), nitrogen oxide (a direct reduction of 85%), and CO2 (up to 20%).
Fleet Back To Operations As Cruises Return To Normal
This summer, Costa Cruises expects to be fully operational for the first time in over two years. Seven ships will return to operation, joining those already in service; in the summer, the entire fleet of 12 ships will be operational again.
“We see an increasing demand for our cruises. Furthermore, as the general situation improves, we expect a simplification of our enhanced health and safety protocols, based on our ongoing monitoring of the pandemic.”
As health regulations continue to be relaxed across Europe, Costa cruises expect to return the ships to normal operation standards soon. The cruise line is already working with authorities to remove the need for booking tours to go ashore in ports of call:
“The work we are carrying out in this direction with the authorities is already well advanced. I believe that cruises will soon be back to normal, with new protocols that will allow our guests to fully enjoy the experiences onboard and ashore, with the return, for example, of free excursions for guests.”
If and when other measures, such as social distancing, mask use, and testing requirements, will be removed is unclear.