Costa Cruises newest cruise ship Costa Toscana was floated out at the Meyer Turku shipyard in Finland this week, despite parent company Carnival Corp’s decision to delay newbuild deliveries this year.
Costa Toscana, the latest Excel-class mega cruise ship from Costa Cruises, was floated out amid icy winter weather in Finland, bringing her to the fit out and finish stage of her construction, a process that is expected to take much of the rest of the year.
While Costa Toscana, a 185,000-gross ton goliath powered by LNG and carrying 5,224 passengers, was meant to be delivered in 2021 and deployed in the South American market, she is now expected to be delayed until 2022 based on Carnival’s announcement.
The parent company of Costa Cruises indicated last week that it will be delaying all but one of its scheduled newbuild deliveries this year. It did not say which of its five newbuilds it would have delivered this year, but it is widely expected to be Rotterdam, Holland America Line’s new Pinnacle class ship.
Costa Toscana’s float out was meant to start on Wednesday, but due to severe weather conditions, the ceremony was postponed until Thursday.
With the traditional firing of a cannon to mark the moment the ship would touch water for the first time, the gates of her construction dry dock were opened and began flooding with water. Marine Link posted a video of the event on YouTube.
“The float out is always a very special occasion for us shipbuilders, as the ship is finally set to her natural environment,” said Tim Meyer, CEO of Meyer Turku. “As this is also the start of the final stage of shipbuilding, all the exciting colors, venues, and features will start taking their final form.”
While it’s still unknown which ship Carnival Corp will take delivery of this year, Meyer’s comments during the float out raised speculation that it may indeed be Costa Toscana.
“In the coming months, she will be finalized at the pier and then tested and commissioned in the autumn for delivery,” he said.
Meyer added that when Costa Toscana is ultimately delivered, he believes the cruise industry will have turned a corner, emerging from the global shutdown and interminable delays to reopening that have driven major cruise lines into debt and forced others into liquidation.
“I believe the Costa Toscana will enter service in a world where passengers will once again be able to fully enjoy the wonders of the seas and the ship on a cruise holiday,” Meyer said.
Costa Toscana is a sister ship to Costa Smeralda, which was delivered in 2019. The interior design of both vessels was curated by Adam D. Tihany and both are some of the most environmentally-advanced cruise ships in the world.
Because she’s powered by LNG and not heavy fuel oil or diesel, all sulfur dioxide emissions and almost all particular matter emissions (at least 95%) are eliminated, while emissions of nitrogen oxides are also reduced 85%.
The ship also has an intelligent energy efficiency system, and 100% of recyclable materials used onboard (such as plastic, paper, glass, and aluminum) will be carried out of the ship and recycled.
Mario Zanetti, Chief Commercial Officer of Costa Cruises, said that the cruise line is focused on a transformation of its fleet and operations into a sustainable model.
“In addition to LNG technology, we are developing other innovative solutions, such as shore power and batteries, as we continue to work towards achieving zero emissions over time,” he said.