Costa Smeralda accidents and incidents

Costa Smeralda cruise ship


Length (LOA)
337 m / 1106 ft

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CruiseMapper's Costa Smeralda cruise ship accidents, incidents and law news reports relate to a 6554-passenger vessel owned by Costa Cruises. Our Costa Smeralda accidents page contains reports made by using official data from renown online news media sources, US Coast Guard and Wikipedia.

Here are also reported latest updates on cruise law news related to ashore and shipboard crimes still investigated by the police. Among those could be arrests, filed lawsuits against the shipowner / cruise line company, charges and fines, grievances, settled / withdrawn legal actions, lost cases, virus outbreaks, etc.

  • fire - 2019 (during ship construction at Meyer Turku, Finland)
  • pier collision/allision - 2021 (Savona Italy)
  • 2-month delayed delivery by the shipbuilder (Meyer Turku Finland)
  • Coronavirus - 2020 (1-day ship quarantine in Port Civitavecchia Italy), 2021 (6 pax)

14 September 2023Crew / Passenger Crimes

On September 14, 2023, a 56-year-old male passenger (fugitive since 2018) was arrested by the Italian police and disembarked off Palermo (Sicily Island, Italy).

The man (Matteo Romano) was charged with drug trafficking in 2018 and evaded the authorities for 5 years while living in the Balearic Islands. He boarded the ship in Palma de Mallorca, together with his family, and was apprehended after the police were tipped about his presence on Costa Smeralda.

With Costa Cruises' full support, the officers arrived on a pilot boat and boarded ship approx 5 km/3 mi off Palermo. The man was taken to Palermo's Pagliarelli Prison to serve his 18-month sentence (10 for drug trafficking plus 8 for evasion).

The incident occurred during the 7-day Mediterranean Cruise (itinerary Sept 12-19, roundtrip from Palma de Mallorca/Majorca Island, Balearic Spain) with call ports in Italy (Palermo/Sep 14, Civitavecchia-Rome/Sep 15, Savona/Sep 16), France (Marseille/Sep 17) and Spain Barcelona/Sep 18).


January 2022Other Incidents

In mid-January 2022, Costa Cruises signed an exclusive partnership with Ryder Cup for "Ryder Cup 2023" (to be held at Golf Marco Simone - premium golf course in Guidonia Montecelio/Rome).

Ryder Cup is a 1927-established men's golf championship (biennial/occurring every 2 years) between European and American teams.

By this partnership, Smeralda started to offer a new for Costa "Cruise & Golf" package (available since May 2022). Two packages (inclusive of either 3 or 4 club fees) allow golf aficionados and their families a unique "golfing vacation" to visit and play at premium golf clubs in Italy (from Savona, Palermo Sicily, Civitavecchia-Rome), France (from Marseille) and Spain (from Barcelona and Palma de Mallorca) during the 7-day itinerary's port calls.

04 October 2021Other Incidents

On October 4, 2021, was officially introduced Costa Cruises' new logo. The redesigned letter "C" was painted for the first time on the Smeralda ship and presented onboard by the company's General Manager (Mario Zanetti).

01 August 2021Cruise Illness / Virus Outbreaks

(Coronavirus) During the 7-day Mediterranean voyage (August 1-8, 2021) roundtrip from Marseille France, a total of 6 passengers tested COVID-positive. The infected belonged to two families, and together with 6 direct contacts were quarantined on the ship.

The infected were part of a group of 180 French nationals who boarded the cruise ship in Marseille. The 7-day itinerary visited ports in Spain and Italy - Barcelona (Aug 2), Palma de Mallorca (3), Palermo Sicily (5), Civitavecchia (6), Savona (7).

Upon boarding, all passengers presented negative COVID tests. A second test for Coronavirus was conducted on Aug 4th. The 6 positive cases were discovered after a male with fever reported to the Infirmary, and all his traveling companions were immediately tested. As the affected refused debarkation in Italy, they were isolated onboard through Aug 8th, when were safely disembarked (at Marseille Fos Port) and ambulanced to their homes.

22 January 2021Ship Collision / Allision

In the morning on January 22, 2021, while maneuvering for berthing in Zone 16 of Port Savona (Italy), during its approach to the quay the cruise liner contacted an RMG (rail-mounted gantry crane).

The collision resulted in the complete destruction of one of the lifeboats (portside) as well as minor dockside damages - to the gantry crane and the quay.

The lifeboat partially detached from the ship (its winch failed) and after the collision with the crane fell into the water between the dock and the vessel. The lifeboat was immediately recovered.

No injuries or superstructure-hull damages (any structural damages) were reported. The Smeralda ship was passenger-free and remained in homeport Savona as scheduled.

Note: Actually, this type of marine accident is called “allision” (striking a fixed object) as opposed to “collision” (striking another vessel).

25 October 2020Other Incidents

At 6 pm on October 25, 2020, the cruise liner completed Italy's first LNG bunkering operation (at Port La Spezia). The operation was supported by AdSP (The Port System Authority), Italian Coast Guard and Royal Dutch Shell (Costa Group's LNG supplier partner). It was conducted at Molo Garibaldi Pier, where the Coral Methane ship was positioned alongside the berthed Costa Smeralda.

The ceremony was attended by Franco Porcellacchia (Costa Group's VP of Sustainable Innovation and Infrastructure Development) and Tom Strang (Carnival Corporation's Senior VP of Maritime Affairs).

Note: Costa Group comprises/manages the Carnival Corporation-owned subsidiaries Costa Cruises (Italy), AIDA Cruises (Germany) and Costa Asia (China).

04 May 2020Other Incidents

On May 3-4, 2020, in Marseille Fosl Port (France) Costa Smeralda carried out France's first ship-to-ship LNG (liquefied natural gas) bunkering. During the at-sea operation, the liner was refueled by the LNG carrier Coral Methane (IMO 9404584). The LNG tankship is owned by the Rotterdam Holland-based company Anthony Veder. Port's LNG (fuel) delivery is by Royal Dutch Shell PLC (under contract with Carnival Corporation, the cruise ship owner).

30 January 2020Cruise Illness / Virus Outbreaks

On January 30, 2020, after docking in homeport Civitavecchia-Rome (Italy), the cruise liner was quarantined for a health inspection after a 54-year-old Chinese female passenger was reported with fever symptoms. After the vessel was denied passenger debarkation, it was boarded by physicians (three doctors and a nurse) to carry tests on both Chinese passengers (family couple, Macao residents) who were suspected to have Coronavirus. The Chinese passengers arrived in Italy via flight from Hong Kong International Airport to Milan Malpensa Airport, arriving on January 25 and boarding the cruise ship in Savona in the evening on the same day.

The physicians (from Lazzaro Spallanzani National Institute for Infectious Diseases) found the husband clear of any symptoms. The woman (also experiencing breathing difficulties) was quarantined at the ship's Infirmary. After the tests for Coronavirus proved negative, the vessel was cleared and allowed passenger disembarkation. The ship was carrying around 7000 passengers and crew (including 700+ Chinese passengers).

The incident occurred during 7-day Mediterranean cruise (itinerary Jan 25 - February 1) roundtrip from homeport Savona to France Marseille), Spain (Barcelona), Majorca Island (Palma de Mallorca), Civitavecchia (port stay 8 am - 7 pm) and La Spezia (cancelled).

Note: After confirming two Coronavirus cases (Chinese tourists) in Italy, the country officially stopped all flights connecting directly with China.

20 October 2019Structural and Technical Issues

The new ship's delivery was delayed by 2 months, which resulted in cancelled cruises (all itineraries from November 30 through December 20, 2019). Next table shows the canceled inaugural cruise (15-day relocation itinerary from Hamburg to Savona).

Date / TimePort
20 OctDeparting from Hamburg, Germany
22 Oct 19:00 - 23 Oct 14:00Rotterdam, Holland
26 Oct 10:00 - 27 Oct 18:00Lisbon, Portugal
30 Oct 08:00 - 31 Oct 17:00Barcelona, Spain
01 Nov 08:00 - 02 Nov 18:00Marseille, France
04 NovArriving in Savona, Italy

Next table shows the 7-day maiden voyage (Savona roundtrip) rescheduled for December 21.

Date / TimePort
21 Dec 18:00Departing from Savona
22 Dec 08:30 - 17:00Marseille, France
23 Dec 08:00 - 19:00Barcelona, Spain
24 Dec 08:00 - 18:00Palma de Mallorca, Majorca Spain
26 Dec 08:00 - 19:00Civitavecchia-Rome, Italy
27 Dec 08:30 - 20:30La Spezia, Italy
28 Dec 07:00Arriving in Savona

18 March 2019Fire Accident

On March 18, 2019, while the liner was still at Meyer Turku Shipyard (Turku, Finland), the shipbuilder reported an onboard fire on Deck 15 (cabin deck named Milano). According to the announcement, stored equipment caught on fire at ~4:45 pm, after welding started. Shipyard's fire brigade responded first and immediately started firefighting actions. Shortly after arrived local fire brigades from Turku City.

During the accident, the vessel was evacuated. Works recommenced at ~6:15 pm. Ten people were reported with smoke inhalations plus two with minor injuries. Material damages were minor and didn't affect ship's construction schedule. Cruise ship's inauguration (maiden voyage) was scheduled for October 20, 2019.

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