The Costa Group today announced an order for two new ships to be built by Italian shipbuilder Fincantieri. The ships, each with 135,500 gross tons and carrying 4,200 guests, will be delivered in 2019 and 2020. They will be operated by Costa Asia, the Asian brand of the Costa Group, and specifically designed for the Chinese market.
From the right: Vincenzo Petrone, Chairman Fincantieri; Micky Arison, Chairman Carnival Corporation & plc; Arnold Donald, President and CEO Carnival Corporation & plc; Graziano Delrio, Italian Minister of Inftrastructure and Tranport; Giuseppe Bono, CEO Fincantieri; Orlando Ashford, President Holland America Line; Michael Thamm, CEO Costa Group; Corrado Antonini, former Chairman Fincantieri; Stein Kruse, CEO Holland America Group; Neil Palomba, President Costa Cruises.
Costa Asia new ships are part of contracts signed by Carnival Corporation & plc with Fincantieri to build five new ships by 2020 at the company’s shipyards in Monfalcone and Marghera, Italy, finalizing a memorandum of agreement announced in 2015.
Costa Asia new ships will be the 13th and 14th cruise ships built in Italy by Fincantieri for Costa, with a total investment worth more than 6 billion euro. The projects are expected to employ thousands of shipyards workers and employees of allied industries in Italy. The benefits in terms of employment will extend beyond the yards, especially regarding the fitting-out of the interiors of the cruise ships, with the involvement of contracted suppliers, most of which are Italian firms.
“We are happy to continue our long-standing strategic partnership with the Italian shipbuilder Fincantieri. This new investment is expected to create wealth and employment for the Italian country as a whole. As for Costa Diadema, the latest Costa ship built by Fincantieri and the best expression of Italy’s finest, also Costa Asia ships will feature an innovative Italian style design. In addition this new order will allow us to continue significantly build the Chinese cruise market, which will become the second largest in the world at the end of the decade” – said Michael Thamm, CEO of the Costa Group.
Thanks to the new ships announced, the Costa Group has seven new ships on order with a total capacity of 41,000 berths (three for the German brand Aida Cruises; two for the Italian brand Costa Cruises; two for Costa Asia), bringing the total capacity of the fleet to 110,000 berths.
The Costa Group was the first cruise company to enter the Chinese market back in 2006. Three Costa ships are currently deployed in China and Asia year-round: Costa Atlantica, Costa Victoria and Costa Serena. A fourth ship, Costa Fortuna, will be added in late April 2016. Costa cruises are marketed in China as “Italy at Sea”, offering an authentic Italian and European experience for Chinese guests, with high-quality hospitality, style, cuisine and entertainment.