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.
|Founder||Giacomo Costa |
|Michael Thamm (CEO)|
|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 fully acquired Costa Cruises after Carnival bought out Airtours' 50% interest in Costa 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.
Costa Cruises is now a part of the overarching Costa Cruises Group, the operating company that comprises of and has executive control over Costa Cruises in Italy, AIDA Cruises in Germany, and, from 2007 to 2014, the now-defunct Ibero Cruises in Spain. AIDA was previously a subsidiary of P&O Princess Cruises, and was transferred to Costa Cruises Group following the merger of Carnival Corporation and P&O Princess in 2002. Ibero Cruises was a new brand that was created in 2007 in a joint venture between Carnival Corporation and Orizonia Group, and 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 will debut Costa Smeralda and become the second cruise line to operate a cruise ship fully powered by liquefied natural gas (LNG), after AIDA debuted AIDAnova one year prior. Costa Smeralda will be joined by her sister LNG ship, Costa Toscana, in 2021.
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 to 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.
|Costa neoRomantica||1993||Fincantieri||1993||56,769||Originally Costa Romantica
Received a €90 million refit in 2012 and renamed Costa neoRomantica
|Costa Victoria||1996||Bremer Vulkan||1996||75,166||Similar to Norwegian Sky and Norwegian Sun.|
|Costa Atlantica||2000||Kværner Masa-Yards|
Helsinki New Shipyard
|2000||85,619||It is scheduled to be transferred to a new Chinese cruise line in 2020.|
|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 May 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 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 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 Firenze||October 2020||Fincantieri||135,225||Will exclusively serve the Chinese market.|
Sister ship to Costa Venezia.
|Costa Toscana||2021||Meyer Turku||185,010||Sister ship to Costa Smeralda.
Powered by LNG.
|Ship||In Costa service||Notes||Image|
|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.|
|Anna C I||(1948–1971)||Ex Prince line Southern Prince. Requisitioned as HMS Southern Prince in WW2. Scrapped after a serious fire in 1971.|
|Anna C II||(1971-1981)||Built in 10.1955 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.|
|Andrea C||(1948–1981)||Built in 1942 as the ocean ship, Ocean Virtue. Converted for passenger use in 1948. Scrapped in 1982.|
|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.|
|Fulvia C||(1969–1970)||Sank 20 July 1970 following an explosion and fire in the engine room.|
|Bianca C.||(1959–1961)||Sank on 24 October 1961 following an explosion and fire in the engine room.|
|Carla C||(1967–1985, 1986–1992)|
|Enrico C/Enrico Costa||(1965–1994)|
|Costa Riviera||(1981–1993, 1994–2002)|
|Costa Olympia||(never entered service)||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 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 dismantled for scrap in Genoa.|
|Costa Splendor||(never entered service)||Originally ordered for Costa Cruises but transferred during construction to Carnival Cruise Line and became Carnival Splendor.|
|Costa Allegra||(1989-2012)||Withdrawn from service following an engine room fire on 27 February 2012. Subsequently sold for scrap.|
|Costa Voyager||(2011-2013)||Formerly sailed as Grand Voyager for Iberocruceros. Exited fleet in 2013 and sold to Bohai Ferry Company and now sailing as Chinese Taishan.|
|Costa Celebration||(never entered service)||The ship was inherited from Iberocruceros after its operations were discontinued. The ship had undergone a refit and was renamed. The day before the ship was scheduled to depart on its inaugural voyage, the vessel had been sold to an unnamed buyer, later revealed as Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line.|
|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.|
|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.|
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.
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