SAVONA, Italy, May 3, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Costa Smeralda, Costa Cruises' flagship, left the port of Savona Saturday, May 1, for a week-long cruise in Italy. It is the first ship of the Italian company to resume operations in 2021, officially kicking off the summer season, which will see a total of four Costa ships cruising the Mediterranean.
The restart of Costa Smeralda was celebrated Saturday morning at the Palacrociere terminal, in the presence of Costa Cruises President Mario Zanetti, together with local authorities including the Mayor of Savona, Ilaria Caprioglio; the President of the Western Ligurian Sea Port Authority, Paolo Emilio Signorini; and the Captain of Savona Costa Guard, Francesco Cimmino.
"This year, May 1 takes on a special meaning for Costa Cruises as our company is resuming its operation, celebrating the resumption of work, for us and for the entire allied industries," said Costa's Zanetti. "We are delighted to be starting off again from a Ligurian port, from the region that has been our home for over 70 years. The cruise and tourism sector is essential for the recovery of the Italian economy. Suffice it to say that, before the pause due to the Covid-19 emergency, our company generated an economic impact of €3.5 billion at national level, with over 17,000 direct and indirect jobs, working with about 5,000 partners. We hope that Saturday's restart will be a sign of a return to normality, for us, for our guests, whom we are pleased to welcome back onboard, and for all the suppliers working in our sector."
Costa Smeralda's first cruise features an all-Italian itinerary, visiting Savona, Civitavecchia/Rome, Naples, Messina, Cagliari and La Spezia. Guests can choose to book the entire itinerary, for a week-long holiday, or split it into three- and four-day mini-cruises, to experience a shorter holiday.
Health and safety procedures have been enhanced through the adoption of the Costa Safety Protocol, the protocol developed by the company together with scientific experts and Italian authorities, which contains operational measures related to all aspects of the cruise experience, both on board and ashore. The measures include: a reduction in the number of guests; swab tests for all guests before embarkation and after half of the cruise; swab tests for the crew before embarkation and regularly during their stay on board; temperature checks every time guests disembark and re-enter the ship and every time they enter the restaurants; visits to destinations only with protected excursions; social distancing on board and in the terminals; new ways of using on-board services; enhanced sanitation and medical services; and the use of protective masks when necessary.
As for the holiday experience, guests will be able to enjoy new features, including a totally renewed excursion program, which will allow them to discover off-the-beaten path destinations, exclusively for Costa guests, and new menu proposals, with dishes related to locations visited by the itinerary.
Moreover, Costa's restart takes place with the most advanced ship in the fleet in terms of reducing environmental impact. Indeed, Costa Smeralda is the brand's first cruise ship to be powered by LNG, the most advanced propulsion technology available for reducing emissions. The ship's entire daily water requirements are met by directly transforming seawater using desalinators; energy consumption is reduced to a minimum thanks to an intelligent energy efficiency system; and waste is managed on board with 100% separate collection for recycling of plastic, paper, glass and aluminum.
Costa Smeralda is the first of four ships that will operate for Costa in summer 2021, offering cruises in the Mediterranean. On May 16, Costa Luminosa will restart, offering week-long cruises to Greece. On June 26, Costa Deliziosa will be back on one-week cruises to Greece. On July 4, Costa Firenze, the new ship inspired by the Florentine Renaissance, will be sailing on a one-week itinerary in Italy. Alongside with the return of the Costa Firenze, from July 3 the Costa Smeralda will be back on international itineraries, with week-long cruises in Italy, France and Spain.
"The restart of Costa Cruises on the occasion of the Labor Day takes on a strong symbolic value and must be a good omen for the recovery of an important economic sector such as tourism," said Ilaria Caprioglio, Mayor of Savona. "The municipality of Savona is pleased to celebrate this restart with Costa Cruises, after very difficult months of health, economic and social crisis, in the 25th year of the Company's presence in Savona. Savona is ready to welcome cruise passengers again."
"I really appreciate the sense of responsibility and the efforts of Costa Cruises to restart again, confirming the port system of Genoa and Savona as one of the main destinations for cruises in the Mediterranean, with over 2.3 million cruise passengers," said Paolo Emilio Signorini, president of the Western Ligurian Sea Port Authority. "Costa Cruises has developed strict safety protocols with the health authorities that will allow passengers to experience the cruise in a relaxed and full way, both onboard and ashore. I am proud that Savona is Costa Cruises' home port, and I will keep on working to further strengthen this bond. We made significant investments in the terminal and others are coming for the electrification of the docks, welcoming a request for sustainability addressed by the local community. We will also work to improve accessibility to the port, integrating even more the world of Costa into the local reality."
"The resumption of cruise activities with the Costa Smeralda is very important, especially in view of the gradual recovery of the sector," said Captain Francesco Cimmino of the Savona Coast Guard. "The Harbor Master's Office - Coast Guard of Savona completed the onboard inspection activities for the certifications required by the international conventions on safety and security; the activities were carried out by specific teams of inspectors of Savona and Genoa Coast Guard."
SOURCE Costa Cruises