On Tuesday, October 26, Turku Finland-based shipbuilder Meyer Turku held the 2nd part of the traditional “coin ceremony” for Costa Cruises' latest LNG-powered ship Costa Toscana.
It was attended by the captain of the ship Pietro Sinisi, by the shipyard and Costa’s management. Following the maritime tradition, commemorative coins were placed on the cruise ship, as good luck for crew members, passengers, and future sailings.
Two weeks before the coin ceremony, Costa Toscana had left the shipyard to carry out sea trials, during which she successfully passed a series of tests in order to verify the proper functioning of LNG engines, systems, and equipment. This is a key step towards delivery, which is scheduled for December 2021.
The 2021-built Toscana is from the new Helios-class vessels ordered by Carnival Corporation. The ship order agreement with Meyer Werft was signed in July 2015 and included construction of all 4 new liners. The contract was finalized in April 2016. Of these 4 vessels, 2 are for Costa Cruises and the other 2 for AIDA Cruises (Carnival's German brand). Other Excellence-Class liners (Toscana's sisterships) are Smeralda (2019), Carnival Mardi Gras (2021), Carnival Celebration (2022), P&O Iona (2020), P&O Arvia (2022), AIDAnova (2018), AIDAcosma (2021), AIDAtbn (2023).
The new liners for Costa and AIDA are the industry's first fully LNG-powered cruise vessels, generating all of the onboard and propulsion power from LNG (abbrev Liquefied Natural Gas) - both in ports and at sea. With the new vessels, Costa Group had a fleet of 7 ships on order. This brand new fleet has a total capacity of 41,000 berths. In comparison, the combined total capacity of Costa's fleet is 110,000 berths.
The new ship will sail on 7-day voyages in the Western Mediterranean with visits to Savona (Italy), Marseille (France), Barcelona (Spain), Valencia (Spain), Palermo (Sicily Italy), and Civitavecchia-Rome (Italy).
Toscana's voyages (originally scheduled from December 18, 2021, to March 2022) will be operated by Luminosa, which had to cancel her Mediterranean winter program because of Israel's travel restrictions.