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Powered by Cleaner Fuel, Costa Smeralda Enters Service

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Costa Cruises’ new flagship, the 180,000-gross-ton Savona Costa Smeralda officially entered service on Dec. 20, 2020, powered by liquefied natural gas (LNG), a low-impact fossil fuel.

Costa Smeralda is the first Costa ship to be powered both in port and at sea by LNG, which the company said virtually eliminates sulfur dioxide emissions and particulate matter. The use of LNG will also lessen emissions of nitrogen oxides and CO2.

Costa Smeralda is part of the Costa’s fleet expansion plan, with a total of seven new ships slated for delivery by 2023 and an overall investment worth over €6 billion (about US$6.6 billion). Of these new additions, five – including Costa Smeralda and its sister Costa Toscana, scheduled to enter service in 2021 – will be fueled by LNG. The Italian cruise company intends to achieve a 40 percent reduction in its fleet’s CO2 emissions by 2020, some 10 years ahead of the target laid down by the International Maritime Organization.

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Costa Smeralda has been awarded the Green Plus, the highest additional voluntary notation assigned by international certification body RINA to ships that are environmentally compliant.

The new ship, which was built in the Meyer Turku shipyard in Finland, will be sailing Dec. 21, 2020, from Savona, Italy, on its maiden cruise in the Mediterranean.

Costa said the Smeralda is a veritable “traveling smart city” with other technological features designed to further reduce its environmental footprint. All the ship’s daily water supply requirements are met by processing seawater directly on board in desalination plants. Energy consumption is reduced to a minimum thanks to an intelligent energy management system. The ship will continue to phase out single-use plastic items, most of which have already been replaced by products made of alternative materials in the bars and restaurants. Once this has been extended fleetwide, there will be a reduction in consumption of over 50 metric tons of plastic a year, ahead of the entry into force of the relevant EU Directive.

Costa will continue with the 4GOODFOOD program designed to reduce food waste and to recover food surpluses for social betterment. In fact, Costa Smeralda will be replacing Costa Diadema for the offloading and donation to charity of surplus food in each port of call on the itinerary, in collaboration with the European Federation of Food Banks.

The amenities include the Solemio Spa; entertainment areas, like the Colosseo with video walls screening hi-tech, digital shows; theme bars in collaboration with leading Italian brands; and 16 restaurants and “food experience” areas, notably the new eatery specifically conceived for casual family dining.

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