Meyer Turku has begun assembling the hull of Costa Cruises’ new vessel Smeralda at its shipyard in Turku, Finland.
The 180,000t vessel will to carry approximately 6,518 passengers in 2,612 cabins and is set to be powered by liquefied natural gas (LNG).
The vessel will be designed to operate at a speed of 17k and accommodate a maximum of 1,682 crew members.
Costa Smeralda will be equipped with four main engines and is expected be 337m-long and 42m-wide upon completion.
It is being constructed as part of Costa Cruises’ parent company Carnival’s effort to develop the world’s first LNG-powered cruise ship.
The vessel’s LNG propulsion plant will be jointly built by Meyer Turku and its sister shipyard Meyer Werft in Papenburg.
The RINA-class ship will operate under the Italian flag following the completion of the assembly.
Costa Group and Carnival Asia CEO Michael Thamm said: “Costa Smeralda represents a real innovation for the international market and an important step toward setting new standards for the entire sector.”
Costa Smeralda is scheduled to begin operation in October next year.
Its first voyage is planned to begin in Hamburg, Germany, and terminate in Savona, Italy, where a naming ceremony will be held.
The vessel is expected to be joined by a sister ship from Turku by 2021.
Meyer Turku CEO Jan Meyer said: “We are on the midpoint of our current ramp-up project with the new crane and several other investments already in place, and almost 700 new shipbuilders compared to 2014 when we came to Turku.”
The company previously delivered two LNG ferries to Viking Grace and Tallink Megastar in 2014 and 2017 respectively.