Costa Cruises this week christened their newest ship, Costa Fascinosa, but in respect to the Concordia disaster, the event — which would usually be a flamboyant, firework-filled affair — was kept to a low-key affair.
The 114,500 tonne, 3,000 passenger ship made its debut over the weekend, where even the choice of godmother was a low-key choice — with Elsa Gnudi, the daughter of Italy's minister of tourism, Pier Gnudi, chosen for the role. The ceremony included a minutes silence for the 32 people who lost their lives onboard Costa Concordia.
Despite the tragedy earlier in the year, Costa Cruises executives are positive of an upturn in fortunes for the cruise line, and the launch of the Costa Fascinosa seems like the most apt way to show that. Costa's Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Pier Luigi Foschi, said the company has "bounced back... [and that] booking volumes are back to the same levels recorded this time last year... Our share of the market in the main countries where we operate has not been affected. We were, are and will remain number one in Europe."
Another aspect of the christening related to the Concordia tragedy, was the launch of Costa's new real-time route monitoring system. This falls into place with last month's new safety procedures announcement from the Cruise Lines International Associated. The new safety legislation includes the implementation of passage planning, where each passage plan is thoroughly briefed to all bridge team members and has to be drafted by a designated officer and approved by the ship's master.
Costa Fascinosa departed on her pre-inaugural five night cruise visiting ports in Italy, Slovenia and Croatia over the weekend and will take her inaugural cruise on Friday — a ten night sailing around the Eastern Med.
Written by Stephen Adam