After the successful restart of cruising by Costa Deliziosa and Costa Diadema, Costa Cruises recently announced that starting Oct. 10 Costa Smeralda will also return to cruise operations with new and enhanced health protocols.
For the restart of its flagship, the first ship in its fleet to be powered by liquefied natural gas (LNG), Costa Cruises has designed a new one-week itinerary dedicated to the rediscovery of the best of Italy. A total of five cruises are scheduled, from Oct. 10 to Nov. 7, that will allow guests to visit beautiful Italian cities of art and natural parks of rare beauty, as well as taste traditional local cuisine.
The first call on the itinerary is Savona, from where guests can also visit nearby destinations such as Genoa or Finalborgo. The second call is La Spezia, with excursions to Cinque Terre, Lerici, Florence or Pisa. The next call is Cagliari, followed by Naples, with the possibility to visit Sorrento, Pompei and the Royal Palace of Caserta. The last two destinations on the itinerary are Messina, with excursions to the Etna volcano and Taormina; and Civitavecchia, which offers visits to Rome and Tarquinia.
Like the other two Costa ships that have already returned to service, the Costa Safety Protocol will be in place on board Costa Smeralda. The protocol, developed by the company together with scientific experts, includes new operational measures that address the COVID-19 situation, fully compliant with the provisions defined by the Italian and European authorities.
The Costa Safety Protocol considers every aspect of the cruise experience, from booking to returning home. Key measures include antigen swab tests for all guests and crew before embarkation, temperature checks while disembarking and returning to the ship, visits to destinations only with protected excursions and physical distancing onboard and at the terminals. In addition, with a reduction in the number of passengers, the enhanced protocols include new ways of using onboard services, improved sanitization and medical services, and the use of protective face masks when necessary.
Costa Smeralda, which was christened in Savona this year on Feb. 22, is a tribute to Italy, the result of an extraordinary creative project designed to exalt and bring the best of Italy to life in a single location. Italian design is the main feature of the CoDe – Costa Design Museum, the first museum built on a cruise ship. The onboard highlights fit perfectly into this extraordinary context: from the Solemio Spa to the areas dedicated to entertainment; from thematic bars, in collaboration with major Italian brands, to the 16 restaurants and areas dedicated to the “food experience,” including a new restaurant dedicated to families with children.
Costa Smeralda is a travelling “smart city,” where sustainable technologies and circular economy concepts are applied to reduce environmental impact. By utilizing LNG, currently the maritime industry’s most advanced fuel technology for significantly improving emissions, Costa Smeralda is able to almost completely eliminate sulfur oxide emissions (zero emissions) and a 95 to 100% reduction in particulate matter. The use of LNG also significantly reduces emissions of nitrogen oxide and CO2.
The ship’s daily water requirement is met by the direct transformation of sea water through the use of desalination plants. Energy consumption is reduced to a minimum level thanks to an intelligent energy efficiency system. There is also 100% separate waste collection and recycling of materials such as plastic, paper, glass and aluminum, which are carried out on board.
Starting on Nov. 14 2020, Costa Smeralda is scheduled to resume her one-week itinerary in Italy, France and Spain, again departing from Savona. Costa is working with the national and local authorities of the countries included in this itinerary, with the goal of offering guests a safe and enjoyable holiday experience through the implementation of the Costa Safety Protocol both on board and in all destinations.