New flagship for Costa Cruises under construction in Italy

New flagship for Costa Cruises under construction in Italy The first section of the ship is lowered into place

Work has begun on the construction of Costa Diadema, the future flagship of Costa Cruises and what will be the biggest Italian-flagged cruise ship, at Fincantieri’s Marghera shipyard.

The ceremony to mark the occasion was attended by Costa Crociere chief executive Michael Thamm and president Gianni Onorato, while Fincantieri was represented by its chief executive Giuseppe Bono.

“The construction of Costa Diadema is a tangible commitment to the future growth of our company,” commented Thamm.

“It is significant not only for us, but also for Italy in general and Venice in particular. Costa Diadema consolidates our alliance with Fincantieri, which has already resulted not only in the building of ten new ships for us since 2000 and a total investment of almost five billion euros, but also the creation of wealth and employment for the country as a whole.”

During the ceremony, the first building block of the ship – weighing approximately 504 tonnes, measuring 15.7 meters in breadth by 29 meters in length and forming the central part of the ship – was lifted by a crane and laid on the bottom of the dock where the ship will take shape.

The construction and fitting-out will continue until October 30th 2014, the ship’s scheduled date of delivery, and will employ approximately 1,000 shipyard workers plus another 2,500 employees of allied industries and about 400 contracted suppliers, most of which are Italian firms.

Bono added: “The end of year is approaching and it’s time for us to take stock.

“This year has been an extremely difficult year, especially for shipbuilding.

“Total global investments have been little more than a quarter of those in 2007, resulting in a fifty per cent reduction in the number of cruise ship orders.

“We’ve done our part by securing almost all of these orders and completing the twofold challenge we set ourselves; on the one hand, to focus on sectors that offer good opportunities for development, and on the other, to maintain our leading position in traditional sectors.

“Today, as we start work on what will be another splendid ship for our friends at Costa, we’re looking to the future with a bit more certainty.”

Costa has invested a total of around €550 million in the new flagship, which will be the biggest cruise ship flying the Italian flag at 132,500 gross tonnage in weight, 306 metres in length and 37.2 metres in breadth.

The new ship will host 4,947 total guests, 1,253 crew members and 1,854 guest cabins as well as exciting innovations in entertainment, technology and cuisine.