Costa Smeralda christened by Penélope Cruz

The christening ceremony for the Costa Smeralda, the new flagship of Costa Cruises which began its service last December, was held today in the port of Savona. Penelope Cruz, for some time now the icon of the company’s advertising campaign, had the honor of being the godmother, thus resolving the mystery of the previous days.


The Costa Smeralda is the first ship not only in the Costa Cruises fleet but of any cruiseship ever, to utilize liquefied natural gas not only while in port but also during navigation. LNG allows for the improvement of air quality and protects the environment by significantly reducing various types of emissions. This characteristic earned the ship the Rina Green Plus award, the highest voluntary level with regard to environmental impact for a ship.

The new flagship that has a gross tonnage of more than 180,000 tons was built in the Meyer shipyards of Turku, Finland. It is already completing a long cycle of cruises with week-long itineraries and ports of call including: Savona, Marseille, Barcelona, Palma de Mallorca, Civitavecchia and La Spezia.

The interior design of the Costa Smeralda was handled by Adam D. Tihany, with the uniting theme of paying homage to Italy and showcasing its best known and most fascinating destinations. Tihany collaborated internationally with four prestigious architectural firms: Dordoni Architects, Rockwell Group, Jeffrey Beers International, and Partner Ship Design. They were called in to design different areas of the ship. Not only the themes, but also the materials used, are almost all Made in Italy including: furniture, lighting, fabrics and accessories. There are not only standard but also custom made items created specifically for the new flagship by 15 partners who represent Italian excellence. Italian design is also the protagonist of the CoDe (Costa Design Museum) the first museum to be located on a cruise ship.

The services offered on board present more novelties. The novelties include: the Solemio Spa, the areas dedicated to entertainment (the most important one being The Colosseum with its screens for multimedia shows), the themed bars in partnership with big Italian brands, and the 16 restaurants and areas dedicated to eno-gastronomic experiences.

“It is a pleasure to officially welcome the Costa Smeralda into our fleet. This ship perfectly combines Italian excellence, a distinctive feature of the Costa brand, with sustainable innovation, creating an unforgettable vacation experience. As the leader of the European market, our aim is that of being pioneers in introducing responsible innovations and paving the way for the entire sector to move toward sustainable tourism. We were the first to invest in LNG and we are continuing to work on other alternative technologies as well, such as batteries, fuel cells and liquefied gas from renewable resources” – affirmed Michael Thamm, CEO of the Costa Group and Carnival Asia.

At the christening ceremony, Arnold Donald (CEO & President of Carnival Corporation) and Neil Palomba, Director General of Costa Cruises were also present. Palomba had this to say:

The christening of a new ship is always very moving, and for the Costa Smeralda in particular because it is a very unique project. The vacation that we are offering on this ship allows for the exploration of different experiences, not only on board but on land: from food, to relaxation, to entertainment, to the technological component, to the uniqueness of the destinations visited. It is the Costa of the future which will allow for the opening of new opportunities for growth for the market, managing to attract even clients that have never been on a cruise.

The fireworks that guests of the event and passengers enjoyed from the Savona harbor formalized the entrance into the fleet for the Costa Smeralda, the first ship with this new design that will be followed by the Costa Toscana, its sister ship, in 2021.

Follow Cruising Journal for more information, updates from on board and all the Reviews of the Costa Smeralda.


Gabriele Bassi