Costa Refurbishes Four Ships with Multimillion-Dollar Investment

Costa, the largest Italian tourism group and Europe’s number one cruise company, entered four ships in dry docks for routine maintenance between December and November for a total investment of approximately $94.4 million.

The most significant investment, worth approximately $78.7 million, is being carried out on IberocrucerosGrand Holiday in the S. Giorgio shipyards in the port of Genoa from December 2009 through April 2010. These operations entail a radical restyling of the ship that previously operated for Carnival Cruise Lines as the Holiday. The ship will enter service with the Iberocruceros brand in May 2010. The objective is to adapt the ship to the quality standards of the Spanish clientele for which it will operate.

In addition to completely restyling the cabins and public areas, four new suites with balconies as well as a new wellness center will be built. The hull will be painted with a special silicone-based ecological paint that reduces the formation of micro-organisms on the hull without releasing toxic substances into the sea. This increases the vessel’s hydrodynamic performance while reducing its environmental impact given reduced fuel consumption. At the end of the refurbishment, the Grand Holiday will be the fourth ship of the Iberocruceros fleet. The first cruise will depart from Barcelona on May 18, 2010, with destinations including Villefranche-sur-Mer, Leghorn, Civitavecchia and Porto Torres. For the entire summer season, the ship will sail seven-day cruises in the western Mediterranean. Departing from Barcelona on Sundays, the ship will call on Villefranche-sur-Mer, Leghorn, Civitavecchia, Naples and La Goulette.

In addition to the Grand Holiday, three ships belonging to the Costa Cruises brand recently completed dry docks: the Costa Magica (November 4-18) and the Costa Mediterranea (November 21-December 5) in Palermo and the Costa Marina (November 4-18) in Genoa. The ships underwent routine maintenance operations that the company carries out every two years to maintain its fleet’s standards and to comply with Italian and international safety norms.

The maintenance involved the hull and engine as well as the hotel section of the ships.  In the hotel area, carpeting, curtains, fabrics and other objects and materials subject to wear and tear were replaced in the public areas and in cabins. For the hull and engine, the largest amount of maintenance entailed cleaning and painting the hull. Inverter devices that optimize conditioning system operation while reducing fuel consumption and subsequent CO2 emissions, were installed in the engine room of the Costa Magica. These were already successfully tested on two other ships.