Celebrations were held earlier in Savona for the naming ceremony of Costa Smeralda, Costa Cruises’ new flagship.
The ship’s godmother and star of the event was international celebrity Penélope Cruz, who performed the ribbon-cutting duties with the traditional breaking of the bottle against the bow of the ship.
The event was held in the presence of the master of Costa Smeralda, Paolo Benini.
Also starring at the celebration was the Italian multi-starred chef Bruno Barbieri, who personally conceived and presented a special gala cocktail, giving guests a taste of his creativity and experience.
The celebrations ended with a spectacular display of fireworks launched from a barge positioned in the stretch of sea in front of the Priamar Fortress, lighting up the sky of Savona and giving the ship a fitting send-off.
Costa Smeralda is a tribute to Italy thanks to the extraordinary creative project led by designer Adam Tihany that celebrates Italy and gives guests the chance to experience the best it can offer, all in one place.
The furnishings, lighting, fabrics and upholstery, and accessories were all made in Italy especially for the new flagship, by 15 partners who are all ambassadors of Italian excellence, and all spaces are inspired by Italy’s long history of setting industry trends.
“It is a pleasure to officially welcome Costa Smeralda to our fleet,” said Michael Thamm, group chief executive of Costa Group.
“This ship is the perfect combination of Italian excellence, which is the key heritage of the Costa brand, and sustainable innovation, for an unforgettable vacation experience.
“We were the first company to invest in liquefied natural gas and we are currently working to develop other sustainable technologies such as battery storage, fuel cells and liquefied gas from renewable energy sources.”
The Costa Group was the first cruise operator in the world to pioneer the advanced liquefied natural gas propulsion system and has ordered a total of five new liquefied natural gas-fuelled ships, two of which – Costa Smeralda and AIDAnova – are already in service.
They are part of the Costa Group’s fleet expansion plan, with a total of seven new ships slated for delivery by 2023 and an overall investment worth over €6 billion.
Costa Smeralda entered service in December.
She is operating on a one-week itinerary in the Western Mediterranean with calls at Savona, Marseille, Barcelona, Palma de Mallorca, Civitavecchia/Rome and La Spezia.