Costa Smeralda will be the first LNG-powered cruise ship in the Costa fleet. Credit: Meyer Turku.
The flout-out of Coasta Smeralda marked the beginning of the last construction stage. Credit: Meyer Turku.
The Costa Smeralda cruise ship will feature 19 bars. Credit: Meyer Turku.

Costa Smeralda is a cruise ship operated by Costa Cruises, a subsidiary of Carnival Corporation.

The new Excellence-class vessel was delivered in December 2019. Costa Smeralda is the first liquefied natural gas (LNG)-powered cruise ship in the fleet of Costa Cruises. The christening ceremony of the ship was held in February 2020.

The construction of Costa Smeralda began with its first steel cut at the Meyer shipyard in Turku in September 2017. Meyer Turku collaborated with the Meyer Werft Papenburg shipyard to develop and integrate the LNG propulsion plant for the ship. Jeffrey Beers International, Dordoni Architetti, Partner Ship Design and Rockwell Group designed the interiors of the ship.

The float-out ceremony for Costa Smeralda was held in March 2019, marking the beginning of the final stage of construction.

The ship entered service in December 2019, departing Savona on its maiden voyage in the Mediterranean. It is the latest addition to Costa Group’s fleet, which includes 29 ships currently in service.

In March 2020, Costa Cruises suspended the operations of its fleet until 3 April 2020 in the wake of the coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak. The temporary suspension of the cruises was later extended until 30 April 2020 to support the containment of the pandemic.

Costa Smeralda design and features

Costa Smeralda features the Trastevere, a three-level area at the centre of the ship and the Piazza di Spagna, a large stairway on the three decks. The Piazza di Spagna and Trastevere include bars and shops to provide the guests with multiple entertainment options.

“Costa Smeralda is the first liquefied natural gas (LNG)-powered cruise ship in the fleet of Costa Cruises.”

The vessel is 337m-long and 42m-wide and has a gross registered tonnage of 180,000t. Costa Smeralda can carry 6,554 passengers and 1,646 crew members and sails at a service speed of 17k.

All cabins include an interactive flat-screen satellite TV, air conditioners with adjustable thermostats, a minibar, 24/7 steward service and hair dryers. Free Wi-Fi and 24-hour room service are also available for the guests.

The suites on the cruise ship offer wine as a welcome drink, a fruit basket, Jacuzzi bath, private VIP area in the terminal, priority disembarkation and boarding, connoisseur drinks package, reserved front row in the theatre and special access to the spa for an entire day.

Sustainability features of the ship

Costa Smeralda was awarded the Green Plus notation assigned by certification body RINA for its environmental compliance.

The use of LNG will help reduce the environmental impact and is complemented by other sustainable technologies such as onboard desalination to meet the water needs of the ship directly from the sea. The ship is installed with LED lighting and systems that recover the heat generated by the engines to reduce energy use.

Costa Cruises will incorporate a fully separated collection of onboard waste and recycling of paper, plastic, aluminium, glass and other materials.

The ship uses environmentally friendly instead of single-use plastics for the majority of the catering purposes.

Dining on Costa Smeralda

The ship has a taste lab called Laboratorio del Gusto, where the visitors can share their own recipes and experience the dishes made by Chef Bruno Barbieri.

Restaurants on the ship include Tutti a Tavola, featuring an exquisite interior and Bacaro, a Venice-style floating lagoon restaurant, offering savoury delicacies and drinks.

The Amarillo ice cream shop on the cruise ship offers the best Agrimontana-based ice cream on board. Pizzeria Pummid’oro, an Italian restaurant, offers 14 varieties of pizzas, including four seasons, Napoli, calzone and Margherita.

Teppanyaki provides a unique Japanese and oriental style dining experience to the guests. The cruise ship also features an Aperol Spritz bar.

Entertainment and wellness facilities on board Costa Smeralda

Costa Smeralda features Sanremo Theatre, which hosts performances by international artists. It also includes a mini-club for under-threes staffed by the Squok club experts. Costa Boutique provides visitors with different shopping options.

The ship’s poolside includes a silent party zone for the guests to enjoy music while partying at the indoor pool without creating noise. A virtual band on board the ship allows the visitors to experience three concerts a week.

Other entertainment facilities include a games room, 16 treatment rooms, a thalassotherapy pool, a water park, a beauty salon, a Hammam and the Costa Design Museum.

Costa Smeralda itineraries

Costa Smeralda  embarked on its seven-night round-trip inaugural voyage from Savona and travel to destinations that include Marseilles, Barcelona, Palma de Majorca, Civitavecchia and La Spezia.

The ship will continue to sail around the Western Mediterranean on multiple seven-night cruises during 2020 and 2021.