Finish shipbuilder Meyer Turku delivered liquefied natural gas (LNG)-fuelled Costa Smeralda to Italian owner Costa Cruises, a brand of Carnival Corporation.
The brand's new flagship Costa Smeralda becomes Carnival Corporation's fourth new ship of 2019 and its second LNG-powered ship.
Costa Smeralda is the first of two new sister ships for Costa Cruises that can be powered in port and at sea by LNG. The second vessel, Costa Toscana, is currently under construction at Meyer Turku and scheduled to be delivered in 2021.
In total, following the delivery of Costa Smeralda and the launch of AIDAnova at the end of 2018 as the world's first cruise vessel to be powered by LNG, Carnival Corporation has an additional nine next-generation LNG-powered cruise ships on order using the company's innovative environmental design, with expected delivery dates for these new ships between 2020 and 2025.
The introduction of LNG to power cruise ships is a major development that supports the company's environmental goals and significantly improves overall air emissions with the virtual elimination of sulfur dioxide emissions (zero emissions) and a 95 to 100% reduction in particulate matter. The use of LNG also significantly reduces emissions of nitrogen oxide and carbon dioxide.
"Costa Smeralda will be a further boost to the use of LNG in cruise ships, a technology our company has pioneered in the cruise sector," said Neil Palomba, president of Costa Cruises, which has represented Italian style and hospitality for more than 70 years. "It is an exciting evolution in maritime transport, as it guarantees a significant reduction in our environmental impact."
Palomba added, "Costa Smeralda is a significant product innovation as well, with Italian hospitality remaining a fundamental and distinctive element of our brand, able to enchant and excite not only new cruise passengers but also more experienced ones."
In addition to the innovative use of LNG, Costa Smeralda incorporates a series of cutting-edge technological innovations designed to further support environmentally friendly operations. For example, using onboard desalination systems, Costa Smeralda sources its daily water requirement directly from the sea.
The ship also implements broad initiatives to minimize energy consumption, including LED lights, the ability to recover heat generated by the engines, an innovative hull design to significantly reduce frictional drag, and elevators that recover energy by regenerating it into the electricity system.
Named to honor the Emerald Coast of Sardinia, Costa Smeralda is the result of a creative project led by hospitality designer Adam D. Tihany, who relied on an international pool of four architecture firms commissioned to design the various areas of the ship. All of the furnishings, lighting, fabrics and accessories are made in Italy, including many designed specifically for Costa Smeralda by 15 partners representing Italian excellence.