Costa Cruises, the Italian firm of the world’s largest cruise company Carnival Corporation, has floated out its new flagship Costa Toscana from the Meyer shipyard in Turku, Finland.

During the float-out ceremony, Costa Toscana touched water for the first time.

After the completion of the interior fittings, Costa Toscana will commence services from December 2021.

Similar to Costa Smeralda, the vessel is also powered by liquefied natural gas (LNG).

The company said that it is the first in the cruise industry globally to introduce the advanced fuel technology for cutting down emissions, both at sea and during port calls.

Costa Cruises has ordered five new LNG-powered ships, out of which two, Costa Smeralda and AIDAnova, have commenced operations already.

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The vessels are part of an expansion plan that includes seven new ships to be supplied to Costa Group by 2023. The value of the total investment is more than €6bn.

Costa Cruises chief commercial officer Mario Zanetti said: “Despite the current challenging scenario, Costa Group is confirming its investment in fleet expansion. We are confident in the recovery of our industry and we are excited about the arrival of new ships like Costa Toscana, which embodies the elements we want to focus on for the future.

“First of all, it is an excellent and innovative ship, attractive for new customers, which is going to be fundamental, especially when people will be able to freely travel again and will have a great desire for holidays. Looking beyond the pandemic, the second element we are focusing on is to complete the transformation of our fleet and operations into a sustainable model. In addition to LNG technology, we are developing other innovative solutions such as shore power and batteries as we continue to work towards achieving zero emissions over time.”

The company noted that the new ship has been constructed and designed to be a travelling ‘smart city’.

To reduce the environmental impact, sustainable solutions and circular economy concepts have been implemented on the ship.

The ship features special desalinisation plants that will directly process seawater to meet daily water supply requirements and an intelligent energy efficiency system to save energy.

Furthermore, separate collection and recycling of materials such as plastic, paper, glass, and aluminium will also be carried out onboard.

Costa Toscana will make its debut in Brazil in the 2021-2022 season.