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Concordia Refloat Operation to Begin July 14

posted Jul 10, 2014

The salvage team have confirmed that the Concordia refloating operation is set to go ahead starting on Monday, July 14. As was the case for parbuckling, commencement of the operation is subject to authorization from the Observatory and also depends on the weather forecast over the next few days. Therefore, final confirmation of the start of the refloating operation will not be announced until the day before it actually begins. 

Expect a total media blitz. Accreditation is mandatory also for journalists who were accredited in September 2013 at the time of the parbuckling operation. 

Costa Halts Plan to Float Concordia

posted May 1, 2014

After the supervisory body overseeing the Costa Concordia salvage raised concerns about the environmental impact and the need to select a scraping port, the Italian media reported that Costa halted plans to float the partially submerged vessel on Wednesday.

Ports from around Italy and Turkey have bid to scrap the Concordia. To transport the ship onboard the Dutch Dockwise Vanguard, millions of gallons of polluted waters will need to be pumped from the Concordia, at an unknown impact to the environment.

Costa is footing the bill for the ship's salvage.

Costa Adds Spin Master Games to Youth Program

posted April 14, 2014

Costa Crociere is promising younger passengers more fun with Spin Master games offered across the whole fleet, after the initial introduction onboard the Costa Pacifica and Serena late last year.

In this second phase of the collaboration between Spin Master Italy (Spin Master exclusive agent for Italy) and Costa, the children’s entertainment program has been enriched with Meccano games, the classic construction system game recently acquired by Spin Master.

Together with the arrival of Meccano, all entertainment offerings will be aboard the whole fleet, and all of them will feature the Spin Master games: mission impossible with Spy Gear covert mission kits for secret agents, fun “drawing” for toddlers and their mums on the magic Aquadoodle color mat, hovering or bouncing off walls with AtmoSphere, aerial acrobatics with the remote control AirHogs, and courses on how to spread their wings and guide the Flying Fairy.

“In this way,” the cruise line said, “each Costa ships will turn into a floating game room, where kids can spend play hours, between the destinations on the itinerary and during the cruises in the programs for spring and summer 2014 in the Mediterranean and Northern Europe.

This collaboration between Spin Master and Costa Cruises will then continue on November 2014, with the launch of the fleet's new flagship Costa Diadema.

Classica to Undergo Refit; Join neoCollection Fleet

posted March 25, 2014

Costa Cruises is expanding the Costa neoCollection, the new type of slow cruising designed to make the most of every minute at a leisurely pace.

From December 2014, after a major refit, the Costa Classica will join the Costa neoCollection and be renamed Costa neoClassica; together with the Costa neoRomantica and Costa neoRiviera, she will be offering cruises to unique destinations, with great natural scenery and superb cultural attractions, places that are inaccessible to big ships, including some that have been declared UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

The arrival of the Costa neoClassica will coincide with the introduction of new destinations and brand new itineraries. The first cruise, lasting 26 days, “From Egypt to the Spice Islands”, will sail from Savona on December 18, 2014.

After crossing the Suez Canal, on Christmas Day during the call at Eilat (Israel), Guests will be able to visit Jerusalem; from Aqaba (Jordan) they can discover Petra, the rose-red city carved out of the rock; next is Safaga, the gateway to the marvels of ancient Egypt. And what better way to start 2015 than on a cruise to Oman, the Seychelles, Madagascar, Reunion and Mauritius.

With home port Port Louis (Mauritius), from January 11 through February 22, 2015 the Costa neoClassica will offer four 16-day “Indian Ocean, paradise on earth” cruises; this is a leisurely itinerary with a backdrop provided by the pristine beaches, turquoise water and palm trees of the Seychelles – and more time to spend thanks to a port call lasting two nights and three days at Mahé – plus the extraordinary uncontaminated natural splendor of Madagascar, Réunion and Mauritius. Guests will travel from Italy to Mauritius on a Costa charter flight.

On March 8, 2015 the Costa neoClassica is scheduled to head back to the Mediterranean on another grand 32-day cruise “From the Indian Ocean to the Mediterranean of Antiquity”: sailing from Mauritius and porting in Madagascar, the Seychelles, Oman, Egypt, Jordan, Israel, Greece, Croatia and Italy.

During the 2015 summer season, from June 27 through August 15, 2015, the Costa neoClassica will be leaving every Saturday from Istanbul – easy to get to from Italy thanks to Costa charter flights – on an exclusive one-week cruise, “Istanbul and the Greek islands”.

The itinerary takes in Rhodes (Greece), Kos (Greece), Samos (Greece), Izmir (Turkey) and then back to Istanbul, where you can spend a full day and stay overnight before returning home. On this cruise Guests can relax on splendid beaches on Greek islands and at the same time soak up their natural beauty, history and culture. The unhurried call in Istanbul gives you the opportunity to really make the most of this timeless city with jewels like the Blue Mosque, the Hagia Sophia Museum, the Topkapi Palace, the Spice Market and lots more besides. Then in the evening, in line with the new Costa neoCollection philosophy, you can dine at the evocative Kervansaray Night Club or marvel at the city on a boat ride on the Bosphorus.

In spring and fall, from April 8 through June 7 and then from September 13 through November 7, 2015, the Costa neoClassica will be operating out of Venice and Ancona on the 11-day “Venice and Italy’s treasures” itinerary, a journey of discovery to Mediterranean locations full of history and culture: Calabria and Sicily with calls at Corigliano Calabro and Syracuse; Ionian Greece; Malta; the splendid Kotor fjord in Montenegro; and fascinating Split in Croatia. From April 18 through September 23, 2015 the ship will be based again in Venice and Ancona, this time on the 16-day “Voyage from Venice to the Black Sea” cruise.

The cruises on the Costa neoClassica, Costa neoRiviera and Costa neoRomantica are presented in the new Costa neoCollection brochure, available at travel agencies: 20 months of exclusive itineraries, from April 2014 through November 2015, in the Mediterranean, Northern Europe, UAE and Oman, Indian Ocean and Africa. In addition to the itineraries, the new brochure describes all the “ingredients” that set a Costa neoCollection vacation apart.

Mediterranean Food Festival on neoRiviera

posted February 27, 2014

To celebrate the inaugural neoCollection season in the Mediterranean, Costa Cruises is bringing local cuisine and wines to the neoRiviera with a Mediterranean Food Festival.

On the first five sailings of the Mediterranean 2014 season, guests will have the opportunity to savor delicious dishes and enjoy the Mediterranean ingredients through seminars, cooking demonstrations, specialty menus and shore excursions.

The Mediterranean Food Festival will take place on sailings departing from Savona, Italy, April 11 and 22 and May 3, 14 and 25. During the 11-day voyages, Costa neoRiviera will call at Toulon, France; Salerno and Livorno, Italy; Valletta, Malta; Porto Empedocle, Sicily; with an overnight call at Barcelona, Spain. The May 3 departure also includes a visit to Genoa, Italy.

"Our new neoCollection cruises are about incorporating immersive experiences on every voyage, and the Mediterranean Food Festival will enable guests to learn about and taste the exceptional local flavors," said Scott Knutson, vice president sales and marketing for Costa Cruises North America. "As Europe's number-one cruise line, it's important to make guests feel like they are a part of the European culture no matter where they come from."

The cruises will feature exclusive food and wine options, chosen in partnership with the University of Gastronomic Sciences of Pollenzo in Italy. The university is a popular and successful cooking school and home to the most important cultural food center in Italy.

The seminars will cover a variety of topics including "The History of Pasta and its Shapes;" "Wines of the Sea" featuring wines of coastal areas and Mediterranean islands; "The Mediterranean's Extra Virgin Oils" showcasing oils from Spain as well as the Italian regions of Liguria, Tuscany, Campania and Sicily, Italy; and "Typical Desserts of the Mediterranean."

At Salerno, Italy, natives of the Amalfi Coast will come aboard to host a cooking demonstration for guests on how to prepare handmade fusilli. Those interested in a shore side culinary experience can book a tour in Barcelona or Salerno to a carefully selected local restaurant.

Costa Launches Onboard App for Calls and Texts

posted February 5, 2014

Costa Cruises has announced the launch of “MyCosta Mobile”, a new application for smartphones and tablets that is designed to allow Costa guests to call and text onboard at no cost.

“MyCosta Mobile” is free of charge and user friendly.

Before the start of your cruise, simply download the free application from the App Store or Google Play Store. Once on board, all you need to do is connect to the ship’s Wi-Fi network, register and launch the app, at no cost whatsoever. Once you have registered, “MyCosta Mobile” is ready for use, again free of charge: you can socialize with other cruise guests and get in touch by phoning or texting whenever you like, and you can also use the App to contact a cabin or any of the numerous shipboard amenities such as the restaurants, Spa, tour office and much more besides.

“MyCosta Mobile” is available for iOS 5.0 operating system and upper versions for iPhones and iPads, as well as for smartphones and tablets that run on Android 2.3 and later mobile operating systems. The App comes in 6 different languages: Italian, English, French, German, Spanish and Portuguese.

Source: Press Release

Costa Deliziosa Rescues Yacht Passengers

posted January 15, 2014

The Costa Deliziosa detoured from its 100-day voyage to assist a distressed yacht in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. The Deliziosa was heading for Antigua in the Caribbean, where she is due to arrive on January 17.

The Buccaneer was sinking after hitting an unidentified object and began taking on water. Crew used buckets to bail water during adverse sea conditions with three-meter high waves. All eight passengers were brought onboard the Deliziosa and were in good health.

Rescue completed, the Deliziosa has resumed course for Antigua.

Costa Mediterranea Enters Drydocks

posted Nov. 21, 2013
As part of the ongoing investments program regarding quality and sustainability on the Costa Cruises fleet, from November 21 through December 4, 2013 the Costa Mediterranea is scheduled to be dry docked in Palermo for planned maintenance.

Costa Cruises is investing a total of more than 4 million euro for these work, that will be performed at Fincantieri shipyard.

The servicing on the Costa Mediterranea is routine maintenance, performed on an average of 2 and half years, involving both the technical side and the hotel side. Technical work includes the cleaning and repainting of the hull; the scheduled operations for hotel department include the replacement of the carpet, curtains, upholstery and other items and material subject to wear and tear in the public areas.

After the dry dock, Costa Mediterranea will depart from Savona on December 6, 2013 for a transatlantic cruise to Guadalupe, where the ship will be deployed in winter 2013-14, offering 7-day cruises to the most beautiful islands of the Caribbean.
Source: Cruise Industry News

Crew Testifies Schettino Jumped Off the Ship

posted November 13, 2013

As the trial of Costa Concordia captain Francesco Schettino continues, crew members testify about the captain's actions.

Crew member Stefano Iannelli, who was present on the bridge when the Concordia struck a reef off the island of Giglio in January 2012, testified that Schettino's reaction was, "What did I do? I am finished navigating."

Ianelli followed Schettino off the ship and testified that he did not see passengers still on board when he left the vessel despite the 1,000 passengers who were rescued after the captain departed.

The court also heard a recording of a panicked conversation between the crewmen in engine room and the captain. The call was logged about 25 minutes after the crash and reports that water is rushing into the engine room. The crew informed the captain the generators and main circuit breaker panel were full of water.

"We stayed in the engine room, waiting for the signal to abandon ship," Hugo Di Piazza, an engine room official, testified Tuesday.  The signal arrived half an hour after he realized the lower part of the ship was flooding.

Schettino admits that he was in command when the ship steered off course and hit rocks. His also blames the failure of the ship's watertight doors for creating a worse situation.

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