The Marghera shipyard (Venice) is where Fincantieri delivered to Costa Cruises, Italy’s largest tourism group and Europe’s no. 1 cruise company, the newest flagship, the Costa Favolosa (114,500 gross tonnage and a capacity of 3,800 total Guests): the largest cruise ship flying the Italian flag.
The Costa Favolosa (www.costafavolosa.com), the 15th vessel comprising Costa’s fleet, the only fleet flying the Italian flag, is a symbol of Italian pride that will sail the seven seas. About 3,000 employees and 7,000 workers from linked industries contributed to the construction of the ship. Most of the companies involved in the shipbuilding activities, about 500, are Italian. The total cost of the investment in the new building undertaken by Costa Cruises is worth approximately 510 million euros.
“For us, the delivery of the Costa Favolosa is a twofold source of pride. She’s a wonderful ship, a real “contemporary enchanted castle” with incredible technological features where our Guests will experience a “fairy-tale holiday”. But it also confirms the soundness of our company. Despite what is not the most favourable worldwide economic situation, our expansion plan continues, with major investments in Italy, thanks to the strength of our brand, guaranteed by more than 60 years of experience, the quality of our product and customer satisfaction.” – declared Pier Luigi Foschi, Chairman and CEO of Costa Crociere S.p.A.
“The Costa Favolosa, the largest ship built to date for Costa Cruises, is living proof of how far we have come together and the results achieved by two great Italian companies who help spread a positive image of Made in Italy round the world”, commented Fincantieri’s CEO Giuseppe Bono . “We are most pleased to have contributed to the success of Costa, an Italian company which proudly flies the Italian flag and which has grown to become the first in its sector in Europe, step-in-step with Fincantieri as we strengthened our leadership in this sector. Cooperation between our companies shows that Italian industry is capable of creating and working as a system and thereby of reaching unrivalled levels of quality.”
There really is a myriad of “fabulous” ways to have fun and relax on board the new flagship: a wellness area extending over 6,000 m²; new suites with Jacuzzi and veranda; an Aqua Park for children; the wonders of virtual reality; Grand Prix race car and golf simulators; and the best of Italian and international cuisine. The Costa Favolosa will depart from Venice on 4th July 2011 on her first voyage, a 3-day vernissage mini-cruise. Throughout the summer of 2011, Costa’s flagship will sail 8-day cruises in the Eastern Mediterranean, following the old routes of the “Serenissima”, calling on Turkey, Greece and Croatia. Instead, next winter, the Costa Favolosa will sail to the exotic seas of the Arab Emirates and Oman, offering her Guests “dream” vacations in the mythical and fabulous area of the Arabian Nights.
The Costa Favolosa, the next to last of 9 new ships that Costa Cruises ordered from Fincantieri in Italy that have been or will be delivered from 2003 to 2012. The next ship to enter service will be the Costa Fascinosa, the sister ship of the Costa Favolosa, also under construction in Marghera, to be delivered in the spring of 2012. Costa’s new ships are part of a fleet expansion plan developed by Costa Crociere S.p.A. (that also includes AIDA Cruises and Iberocruceros), involving 22 ships for a total investment of €€9.6 billion from 2000 to 2013.
Following delivery, the Costa Favolosa will depart from the Venice Maritime Station on 1st July to kick off her naming festivities. During the night, the ship will be the protagonist of “Notte Rosa 2011”, or Summer’s New Year’s Eve, when the Adriatic Riviera in Emilia Romagna region turns pink: with her gala lighting on display, the ship will sail along the Romagna coast, recreating the scenic majesty of the legendary “Rex” in Amarcord, stopping in front of the town of Cattolica for an incredible fireworks show on the sea.
The next day, 2nd July, the Costa Favolosa will arrive in Trieste for her naming: this incredible event, open to the entire city, will involve the beautiful setting of Piazza Unità d’Italia. The event, a tribute to Italian identity and to beauty, is included in the celebrations marking the 150th anniversary of the Unification of Italy. The ship’s godmother will be Margareth Madè, the Italian actress who became a household name thanks to her role in the film “Baaria”. During the naming show the spotlight will also be focused on the famous pianist Ludovico Einaudi, the actor Alessandro Rossi and the School of Dance of the Accademia Teatro alla Scala. The Master of Ceremonies for the occasion will be TV journalist Cristina Parodi.
Weighing in at 114,500 gross tonnage and with accommodation for up to 3800 Guests, the Costa Favolosa was built by Fincantieri at its Marghera (Venice) yard and is the largest cruise ship afloat flying the Italian flag. She is conceived to stun the onlooker with her spacious outside areas, state-of-the-art technology, impeccable service, and “modern marvels” of art and design: the end result is the perfect setting for a fairy-tale holiday (in Italian favolosa means not only “fabulous” but also related to a favola, or “fairy tale”). As her name suggests, the Costa Favolosa is intended to interpret the excitement and emotion of people who view the cruise as a magical voyage in a “contemporary enchanted castle”, a perfect combination of fabulous atmosphere and hi-tech fun with a truly amazing range of amenities.
The main innovations include 6 new veranda Suites with their own Jacuzzis, and a new entertainment area parading the marvels of virtual reality in the 4D Cinema and PlayStation World. There’s also a new children’s open-air Aqua Park water playground with its own pirate galleon.
Facilities combine the very best of the Costa product: the Samsara Spa, one of the largest wellness centers ever built on a cruise ship – 6,000 m2 of wellness, with dedicated cabins and restaurant; a large central lido extending over two decks, with a sliding glass roof for all-year round relaxation and a giant 18 m2 movie screen, showing music videos and other entertainment; for thrill seekers, the Grand Prix driving simulator 60 meters above the sea, produced from an original GP car, reproduces the excitement of the world’s best racing circuits; and, last but not least, the world’s most advanced golf simulator.
The brand new design aft pool area is particularly large and inviting: 1000 m2 of space dedicated to relaxation and entertainment with 160 sun loungers, waterfront whirlpool tubs and an invigorating waterfall. The shipboard gym offers all the latest Technogym equipment, which allows users to browse the Internet, watch TV and listen to their iPods while they train.
On board there are also duty free shops and a Costa Concept Store conceived by international designer Emilio Robba, where you can find an exclusive collection of products and souvenirs selected specially for Costa Cruises. The Costa collection includes the prestigious new “Atelier du Parfum”, where you can mix and match fragrances to blend your own custom-made perfume. The culinary experiences on board are a feast for the palate and have something for everyone: from the à la carte Club to the “wellness” restaurant, the self-service buffet with dishes typical of the places visited during the cruise, and the traditional Mediterranean delicacies in the two main restaurants.
Meanwhile, culture vultures will revel in the Costa Favolosa’s exclusive specially commissioned art collection: this is a voyage within the voyage taking in over 6,000 works (including multiples) that enhance the interior decoration of the ship and her cabins. The Costa Favolosa’s position at the cutting edge of cruise ship building technology also extends to environmental compliance, which has always been a Costa hallmark. Like other fleet members, the Italian Company’s new flagship will be equipped for “cold ironing”, namely a system whereby the ship is plugged into shoreside electrical power, enabling generators to be shut down during stopovers in port.
The Costa Favolosa leaves Venice on July 4 on her 3-day vernissage minicruise with stopovers in Dubrovnik (Croatia) and Koper (Slovenia). This will be followed by her grand inaugural cruise, which leaves Venice on July 7: an 11-day itinerary taking in Greece, Turkey and Croatia with stopovers in Bari, Izmir, Istanbul (Turkey), Mykonos, Piraeus, Olympia (Greece) and Dubrovnik (Croatia). For the rest of this summer season the Costa Favolosa will be leaving from Venice every Sunday and Bari every Monday on 8-day cruises porting in Olympia (Greece), Izmir and Istanbul (Turkey), and Dubrovnik (Croatia). In winter 2011/12, the Costa Favolosa will be deployed on 7-day cruise vacations out of Dubai on the following itinerary: Muscat (Oman), Fujairah (UAE), Abu Dhabi (UAE), Khasab (Oman) and Dubai.