Costa Cruises Takes Delivery of Costa Fascinosa in Venice
By James Shillinglaw
May 05, 2012 11:24 AM
Costa Cruises, nearly four months after the sinking of the Costa Concordia, took delivery of its new flagship, Costa Fascinosa, from Fincantieri shipyard in Venice. With its sister ship Costa Favolosa, Costa Fascinosa is the largest Italian-flagged cruise ship afloat.
The delivery ceremony was attended by Piero Gnudi, Italy’s minister of tourism, whose daughter Elsa served as godmother for the 114,500-ton, 3,800-guest flagship. At the ceremony, Costa and Fincantieri made a joint donation to the Papa Giovanni XXIII Community by Father Oreste Benzi for the “Rainbow Project,” which aids children in need worldwide and is supported by Elsa Gnudi.
“The delivery of Costa Fascinosa is an important stepping stone on our company's road to recovery," said Pier Luigi Foschi, chairman and CEO of Costa Crociere S.p.A., who earlier this month had announced his retirement. “It is confirmation that the long-term fundamentals of our business remain strong, and we will continue to work for our customers, offering them even better cruises on fantastic ships like Costa Fascinosa.”
Costa said it invested $668.8 million in Costa Fascinosa, which was constructed in Fincantieri’s Marghera shipyard in Venice. “Costa Fascinosa is the living proof of the progress and the results achieved by two great Italian industries jointly contributing to spread a positive image of ‘Made in Italy’ around the world,” said Giuseppe Bono, chief executive officer of Fincantieri. “We are most pleased to have contributed to the success of Costa, an Italian company which proudly flies the Italian flag.”
Since 1990 Costa invested $7.6 billion to build ships at Italy’s Fincantieri, T. Mariotti and San Giorgio del Porto shipyards, with a total of 14 ships built or on order, in addition to the refurbishment of other ships already in service. The handover of Costa Fascinosa took place about two months after the delivery of Costa neoRomantica, a $118 million refurbishment of Costa Romantica. After Costa Fascinosa, the line’s fleet expansion program will continue at Fincantieri’s Marghera yard with the construction of a new 132,500-ton, 4,928-passenger ship, the largest ever Italian cruise ship, set for delivery in October 2014.
Costa Fascinosa sets sail from Venice on a preview cruise May 6, bound for Slovenia, Trieste, Italy, and Croatia. It also will host the 19th edition of the “Champions of the Sea,” an annual event celebrating Costa’s best travel agent partners from around the world. On May 11 the ship departs Venice on its inaugural cruise, a 10-day itinerary to Greece, Israel and Turkey. For the 2012 summer season until the end of November, Costa Fascinosa will operate seven-day cruises from Venice and Bari, Italy, to Greece and Croatia. For winter 2012-13, the ship will be in South America on cruises calling at Brazil, Argentina and Uruguay. For summer 2013, it will return to the eastern Mediterranean, sailing weeklong vacations to Greece and Turkey with departures from Venice and Bari.
Costa Fascinosa features a number of innovative public spaces. The Amarcord Atrium, for instance, serves as “center stage” for the ship with its huge space and a series of diamond-shaped chandeliers. The Lido, a pool are deck dedicated to the classic movie “Gone With the Wind,” features 3,280 square feet devoted to relaxation and entertainment, with raised whirlpool tubs overlooking the sea, waterfalls and other attractions. The al fresco Blue Moon Lido has a sliding glass roof and a giant 60-square-foot movie screen showing films and videos.
In the Playground, the Nuovomondo 4D Cinema offers movie presentations for children and adults. There’s also a Grand Prix Simulator on the highest deck of the ship, modeled on an original Gran Prix car, as well as a professional golf simulator. Children can play in the open-air Acqua Park water park playground with a pirate galleon, castle and waterslide.
Costa Fascinosa has bow-to-stern broadband Wi-Fi, guaranteeing connectivity for laptops, tablets and mobile phones. The new Digi Mobile platform also will enable guests to use their smartphones and tablets to access the shipboard interactive TV system in their cabins to book programs and services.
For entertainment, Costa Fascinosa features the Bel Ami show lounge, 13 bars, the Babylon Disco, the Blue Velvet piano bar or the Millionaire Casino. The ship has five restaurants: the à la carte Club restaurant, the Samsara wellness eatery, the self-service buffet with dishes typical of the places visited during the cruise and traditional Mediterranean delicacies in the two main restaurants.
Costa Fascinosa’s Samsara Spa, one of the largest spas ever built on a cruise ship at 19,680 square feet, offers a range of exclusive services and treatments. The facility also includes special Samsara cabins and suites with direct spa access, including six veranda suites with their own Jacuzzi and spacious balconies, plus relaxation amenities. The gym on Costa Fascinosa is equipped with the latest Technogym machinery incorporating the “Visioweb” digital platform to provide access to the Internet, TV and iPods.