Costa Crociere S.p.A. (Italian pronunciation: [ˈkɔsta kroˈtʃɛːre]), operating as Costa Cruises (Italian: Costa Crociere), is an Italian cruise line founded in 1854 and organized as a wholly owned subsidiary of Carnival Corporation & plc since 2000. Based in Genoa, Italy, the cruise line primarily caters to the Italian cruise market, but the company's fourteen ships, which all sail under the Italian flag, provides itineraries sailing to countries globally.
|Michael Thamm (President, CEO Costa Group)|
|Revenue||$2.236 billion (2018)|
|Parent||Carnival Corporation & plc|
Founded in 1854 by Giacomo Costa as Giacomo Costa fu Andrea, the company originally operated cargo ships, carrying olive oils and textiles. In 1924, the company was passed to the founder's sons (Federico, Eugenio and Enrico) and started commercial activities, buying the ship, Ravenna. In 1947, the name of the company was changed to Linea C.
Commercial activities continued for one more year until 1948, with the introduction of passenger services, beginning with regular services between Italy and South America operated by the ship, Anna C. She marked the start of scheduled operations between Italy and South America after being the first ocean liner to cross the South Atlantic Ocean following World War II.
In 1959, the company gradually transitioned into offering more pleasure holidays, with trips being offered in the Mediterranean and the Caribbean regions. Linea C proceeded to take ownership of its first purpose-built cruise ship in 1964 and went on to own 12 more ships by 1980, making the company the owner of the world's largest fleet of passenger ships. In 1986, Linea C changed its name to Costa Cruises and became a cruise-centered business.
In March 1997, Carnival Corporation and Airtours PLC purchased Costa Cruises for $300 million. At the time, Costa Cruises had been the leading European cruise line, with an estimated market share of 19%. Carnival and Airtours both acquired 50% each of the company.
As subsidiary of Carnival Corporation & plc
In 2000, Carnival Corporation took full control of Costa Crociere after buying out Airtours' 50% interest for $525 million. In 2002, Carnival Corporation and P&O Princess Cruises merged to form Carnival Corporation & plc, bringing together both companies' assets under one corporation. As of 2018, Costa accounted for approximately 12% of Carnival Corporation & plc's revenue.
In 2004, Costa Crociere purchased control of AIDA Cruises in Germany. In 2007, Carnival Corporation and Orizonia Group created Ibero Cruises in a joint venture. Ibero was absorbed into Costa Cruises in 2014.
In 2012, the company gained international attention when Costa Concordia ran aground and capsized off the coast of Italy on 13 January 2012. Thirty-two people died in the disaster. Six weeks later, the company made headlines again when a fire on Costa Allegra left it drifting without power for 13 hours in waters near Somalia frequented by pirates, before the ship was taken under tow.
In December 2019, Costa debuted Costa Smeralda and became the second cruise line to operate a cruise ship fully powered by liquefied natural gas (LNG), following AIDA's AIDAnova one year earlier. Costa Smeralda is to be joined by her sister LNG ship, Costa Toscana, in 2021. On 30 January 2020 Costa Smeralda was quarantined along with some 6,000 passengers at the Italian port of Civitavecchia following two suspected cases of COVID-19.
Market position and demographics
As of 2015, Italians accounted for 25 to 30% of bookings on most Costa cruise holidays, followed by the French, the Germans, and the Spanish. North Americans only made up approximately between 5 and 15% of the passengers aboard most ships. English is also mandated as the "universal" language on every Costa ship, and all crew members are required to be able to communicate in it.
During an interview with Travel Pulse in 2015, Scott Knutson, vice president of sales and marketing for Costa Cruises North America, shared his thoughts on Costa's position in the cruise industry and its ways of adapting to an international audience:
The most important thing to keep in mind is that we are an international product. We are uniquely positioned as the only international brand that hasn’t adapted its product to the American market. That authenticity allows us to go to a certain segment of the market. It’s those vacationers who like the international experience—the food, the wine, the service.
Temporary shutdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic
Most cruises around the world were cancelled in March 2020 due to the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic. As of September 2020, the no-sail rule by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention prohibited cruising in the U.S. until October 31, 2020 at the earliest but other countries had already allowed for cruises to recommence.
Costa began new sailings on 6 September in Italy, initially with two ships, Costa Deliziosa and Costa Diadema. At that time, the line required all passengers to be from Italy. By 27 September 2020, however, "Costa Cruises will be available for all European citizens who are residents in any of the countries listed in the most recent decree from the Prime Minister of Italy" according to a news report. The company had implemented strict health protocols to protect its staff and guests.
A report on 9 January 2021 stated some cruise lines were hoping to resume some sailings in Europe in the near future but added that "it remains to be seen whether this will go ahead with much of the continent still in lockdown". Costa's Web site at that time was indicating no sailings in January but was hoping to start on 28 February with the Costa Firenze, on 2 April with the Costa Deliziosa on 3 April with the Costa Magica, and so on. Only Italian ports would be used initially, and the gradual restart would accept only guests from Italy.
|Costa Mediterranea||2003||Kværner Masa-Yards|
Helsinki New Shipyard
|2003||85,619||It is scheduled to be transferred to a new Chinese cruise line in 2021.|
|Fortuna (Triumph) class|
|Costa Fortuna||2003||Fincantieri||2003||102,587||Identical to Carnival Triumph and Carnival Victory|
|Costa Magica||2004||Fincantieri||2004||102,587|| → |
|Identical to Carnival Triumph and Carnival Victory|
|Costa Serena||2007||Fincantieri||2007||114,500||Concordia class|
|Costa Pacifica||2009||Fincantieri||2009||114,500||Concordia class|
|Costa Favolosa||2011||Fincantieri||2011||114,500||Modified Concordia class|
|Costa Fascinosa||2012||Fincantieri||2012||114,500||Modified Concordia class|
|Luminosa class (Hybrid Spirit/Vista class)|
|Costa Luminosa||2009||Fincantieri||2009||92,700||Hybrid design between Atlantica- and Vista-class ships|
|Costa Deliziosa||2010||Fincantieri||2010||92,700||Hybrid design between Atlantica- and Vista-class ships|
|Diadema (Dream) class|
|Costa Diadema||2014||Fincantieri||2014||133,019||Modified Dream-class ship|
|Venezia (Vista) class|
|Costa Venezia||2019||Fincantieri||2019||135,225||Modified Vista-class ship
Exclusively serves the Chinese market.
|Costa Firenze||2020||Fincantieri||2020||135,500||Originally planned to serve the Chinese market but later amended to the Mediterranean.|
Sister ship to Costa Venezia.
|Costa Smeralda||2019||Meyer Turku||2019||185,010||Largest ship built for Costa Cruises. Powered by LNG.|
|Ship||In Costa service||Builder||Gross tonnage||Flag||Notes||Image|
|Costa Toscana||December 2021||Meyer Turku||185,010||originally planned for 2020, but the delivery date was changed to June 2021 after the Mardi Gras was ordered. Delayed again until December 2021 because of the COVID-19 pandemic
Keel laid on 11 February 2020.
Sister ship to Costa Smeralda.
Powered by LNG.
|Ship||In Costa service||Notes||Image|
|Luisa C||1947–1955||Built as the Asanao in 1919. Sold and renamed Robert Luckenbach in 1922.|
After service with Costa, she was sold in 1955 and renamed Sula. Scrapped in 1959.
|Maria C||1947–1953||Scrapped in 1953.|
|Andrea C||1948–1981||Built in 1942 as the Ocean ship, Ocean Virtue. Converted for passenger use in 1948.|
Scrapped in 1982.
|Anna C||1948–1971||Formerly Prince Line's Southern Prince. Requisitioned as HMS Southern Prince in World War II.|
Scrapped after a serious fire in 1971.
|Franca C||1952–1977||Formerly an ocean liner hotel ship.|
|Federico C||1958–1983||Abandoned and sank in 2000 after engine room flooded.|
|Bianca C.||1959–1961||Sank on 24 October 1961 following an explosion and fire in the engine room.|
|Enrico C / Enrico Costa||1965–1994|
|Eugenio C||1966–1996||Scrapped in Alang in 2005.|
|Carla C / Carla Costa||1967–1992||Scrapped in Aliaga in 1994.|
|Flavia||1968–1982||Formerly the Cunard Line's RMS Media. Scrapped in 1989 in Kaohsiung after a fire.|
|Fulvia C||1969–1970||Sank on 20 July 1970 following an explosion and fire in the engine room.|
|Anna C||1971–1981||Built in October 1955 at Wilton-Fijenoord, Schiedam yard in the Netherlands.|
LOA 150.3m, 19.2m, DWT 10,272, Flag Panama, Class Registro Italiano Navale.
Sold in 1981 to Chaldeos Freighters Ltd and renamed Damenham.
Sold to Geofman International for demolition.
Broken up at Gadani beach on 2 June 1984.
|Italia||1974–1983||Scrapped in 2010 at Alang as Sapphire.|
|Angelina Lauro||1977–1979||Chartered from Lauro Lines. The ship was destroyed by fire while docked in Saint Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands on 30 March 1979.|
The ship later sank on 24 September 1979 while being towed to a scrapyard.
|World Renaissance||1977–198?||Chartered from Epirotiki from 1977 until the early 1980s.|
Scrapped in Alang in 2010.
|Danae C||1979–1992||Scrapped in Aliaga in 2015.|
|Daphne C||1979–1997||Scrapped in Alang in 2014.|
|Amerikanis||1980–1984||Chartered from the Chandris Line between 1980 and 1984.|
Scrapped in Alang in 2001.
|Columbus C||1981–1984||Formerly an ocean liner before being converted into cruise ship.
Struck a breakwater in 1984 and partially sank, then scrapped.
|Costa Riviera||1981–2002||Scrapped in Alang in 2002.|
|Costa Marina||1988–2011||Converted container ship. Scrapped at Alang in 2014.|
|Costa Allegra||1989–2012||Converted container ship. Withdrawn from service following an engine room fire on 27 February 2012 and Scrapped in Aliaga.|
|Costa Classica / Costa neoClassica||1991–2018||Originally Costa Classica, she received a €18 million refit in 2014 and renamed Costa neoClassica. Left the fleet in March 2018 after being sold to Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line and now operating as Grand Classica|
|Costa Romantica / Costa neoRomantica||1993-2020||Originally Costa Romantica Received a €90 million refit in 2012 and renamed Costa neoRomantica. The ship was sold to Celestyal Cruises and left the fleet in the end of August 2020.|
|Costa Olympia||1996 intended||Originally ordered for Costa Cruises and was to be the sister ship of Costa Victoria. Its construction was halted following the financial collapse of Bremer Vulkan shipyard. The unfinished hull was sold to Norwegian Cruise Lines and was completed as Norwegian Sky.|
|Costa Victoria||1996–2020||Sold to Genova Trasporti Marittimi in June 2020 in Piombino and after resold and Beached on 28 January 2021 in Aliaga.|
|Costa Atlantica||2000–2020||Sold to CSSC Carnival Cruise Shipping in November 2018 and transferred in January 2020.|
|Costa Tropicale||2001–2005||Scrapped in Alang in 2021|
|Costa Concordia||2006–2012||Ran aground, capsized, and partially sunk on 13 January 2012. It was later deemed a total constructive loss and the shipwreck was later removed and scrapped in Genoa.|
|Costa Splendor||2008 intended||Originally ordered for Costa Cruises but transferred during construction to Carnival Cruise Line and became Carnival Splendor.|
|Costa Voyager||2011–2014||Previously sailed as Grand Voyager for Iberocruceros. Sold in 2014 to Bohai Ferry Company and now Chinese Taishan.|
|Costa neoRiviera||2013–2019||Previously Mistral for Festival Cruises and Grand Mistral For Ibero Cruises. Transferred to AIDA Cruises and operating as AIDAmira from December 2019.|
|Costa Celebration||2014 intended||Inherited from Iberocruceros after its operations were discontinued. She underwent a refit and was renamed but the day before the ship was scheduled to depart on inaugural voyage, she was sold to Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line.|
Scrapped in Alang in 2021.
Accidents and incidents
See also Carnival Cruise Line's accidents and incidents for incidents associated with the parent company's other cruise operations.
MV Bianca C. fire and sinking
On 22 October 1961, Bianca C. was off Grenada when an explosion occurred in the engine room. Two crew members died in the explosion and the ship subsequently caught on fire. Local fishermen helped rescue the passengers and crew, but as the local authorities did not have the equipment to extinguish the fire, the ship was left to burn until the British frigate HMS Londonderry arrived from Puerto Rico. The burning ship was in the main anchorage and would block the harbour if it sank there, so the Londonderry towed it to a different location where the Bianca C. sank on 24 October 1961.
Costa Concordia capsizing
On 13 January 2012, Costa Concordia ran aground off Isola del Giglio in Tuscany. The ship capsized and partially sank, killing 32 people. In 2014, the ship was parbuckled and refloated with caissons, and in July 2014, she was towed to the Port of Genoa over a period of five days, where it was dismantled and eventually scrapped. The total cost of the disaster was estimated to be over $2 billion.
On 11 February 2015, the captain at the helm during the sinking, Francesco Schettino, was found guilty by an Italian court of multiple manslaughter, causing the shipwreck, and abandoning his passengers. He was sentenced to 16 years in prison. An Italian appeals court on 31 May 2016 upheld the 16-year prison sentence.
Costa Allegra engine room fire
On 27 February 2012, Costa Allegra suffered an engine room fire and went adrift in the Indian Ocean. After several days adrift without power, the ship was towed to the Seychelles island of Desroches, but was unable to dock there. She was then towed to Mahé, Seychelles, where the passengers disembarked. No casualties were reported.
On 9 March 2012, it was announced that Costa Allegra would not return to service with Costa, and she was given to Themis Maritime Ltd ship company. In late 2012, Costa Allegra was beached at Aliaga, Turkey, for scrapping.
- Funnel of Costa Mediterranea
- Pool deck space and water slide on Costa Magica
- Central pool on Costa Luminosa
- Theatre in Costa Favolosa
- Buffet on Costa Luminosa
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- "Costa ship adrift off Seychelles". 27 February 2012. Retrieved 15 August 2019.
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- "FIRST LARGE CRUISE LINE WITH 2 SHIPS BACK IN OPERATION". Travel Off Path. 20 September 2020.
As of 19 September "Costa became the first large cruise line to relaunch the operations of a second ship"
- "CRUISE LINES EXTEND SUSPENSIONS FURTHER INTO 2021". Travel Off Path. 9 January 2021. Retrieved 11 January 2021.
CRUISE LINES EXTEND SUSPENSIONS FURTHER INTO 2021
- "We are hoping to resume with the following start dates:". Travel Off Path. 9 January 2021. Retrieved 11 January 2021.
we are pleased to announce the restart of operations from Italian ports. Initially, it will be a gradual restart from our Italian ports reserved exclusively for our Italian Guests.
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- "Kenya Castle". Simplon Postcards.
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- cruise, industrynews (16 July 2020). "Celestyal Purchases Costa neoRomantica".
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- "AIDAmira Christened". Cruise Industry News. 1 December 2019.
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- Gene Sloan (9 March 2012). "Fire-damaged cruise ship Costa Allegra will not return". USAToday. Retrieved 19 March 2012.
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