Costa Cruises is continuing to expand and renew its fleet of ships flying the Italian flag. At Fincantieri's Marghera shipyard, construction has begun on a new 135,500-ton ship with 2,116 cabins, due for delivery in 2020. Like its twin Costa Venezia, it will be designed specifically for the Chinese market.
Between 2019 and 2021, four new ships will enter service for Costa, with an overall increase in capacity of 43%. Costa Venezia, currently under construction in the Fincantieri shipyard in Monfalcone, is due to arrive in February 2019, while the flagship Costa Smeralda, the first cruise ship for the world market powered by LNG, built by Meyer Turku shipyard (Finland), is due to arrive in 2019, with the sister ship of the Costa Venezia due in 2020, followed by that of the Costa Smeralda in 2021.
Starting in March 2019, the fleet innovation programme also includes the return to the Mediterranean of the Costa Fortuna, a ship currently operating in Asia, which will offer one-week cruises departing from Genoa. At the end of 2019, the Costa neoRiviera will be transferred to the fleet of AIDA Cruises, the Costa Group's German brand. After being remodelled and refurbished, the ship will be named AIDAmira, departing on its maiden voyage on December 4, 2019, from Palma.
In addition, the Costa Victoria has been operating regularly in the Mediterranean since 30 March 2018, having undergone renovation work worth 11 million euro, carried out at the Marseilles Shipyards. The majority of the work was focused on the cabins, the internal and external public areas, with the creation of a new "tapas and paella bar". In fact, during the next summer season, the ship will offer a week-long itinerary dedicated to the beaches and entertainment of the Balearic Islands and Spain.
Under this growth programme, the number of ships in the Costa fleet will increase to 17 in 2021, compared with the current 14. Overall, the Costa Group currently has seven new ships on order, for a total investment of over six billion euros. In addition to Costa Cruises four new ships, there are three new LNG ships for the AIDA Cruises fleet, arriving between autumn 2018 and 2023.