The wrecked Italian cruise ship Costa Concordia has successfully completed its four-day, 280km final voyage to the port of Genoa for scrapping.
The vessel was refloated last week nearly two-and-a-half years after it capsized on the Tuscan island of Giglio. Its removal is said to be the biggest maritime salvage attempt to date.
Italy Prime Minister Matteo Renzi was quoted by the BBC as saying: “This is not a runway show. It’s the end of a story in which many people died, which none of us will ever forget.
“I have come to say thank you to those who have done something that everyone said was not possible.”
The 114,500t vessel was towed with the help of more than a dozen tug boats.
Costa Concordia was lined-up by eight tugs at the Genoa port before dragging it slowly into the harbour towards a wharf.
Genoa harbour workers union head Antonio Benvenuti told The Associated Press that no precise schedule has been planned for dealing with the wreck.
Certain tests will be conducted to evaluate the possibility of pollution problems before beginning the first stage of the operation, which will reduce the weight of the ship to lift it.
Costa Crociere, the operator of Costa Concordia, estimates the scrapping operation will cost €1.5bn.
Costa Concordia ran aground off the Italian island of Giglio on 13 January 2012. It was carrying 3,200 passengers and 1,000 crew members at the time.
The vessel was reportedly the largest and most luxurious in the family of Costa Cruises. It had been in service since 2006.
Image: Costa Concordia successfully completed its final voyage to the port of Genoa. Photo: courtesy of The parbuckling project.