Costa's newest ship, the Costa Favolosa, took to the sea for the very first time today at a ceremony held at Fincantieri's Marghera ship yard in honor of the ship's technical launch. The Costa Favolosa (114,500 tons; 3,000 dbl occ), will set sail on her first cruise in July 2011. She is the fourth of five new ships delivered or set to be delivered between 2009 and 2012 for Costa, which is Europe's Number One Cruise Line. The total investment of these five new ships is worth 2.4 billion euros. In Spring 2012, the Costa Fascinosa, a sister ship to the Costa Favolosa, will complete Costa's ambitious fleet expansion program.
"The launch of the Costa Favolosa confirms the strength and leadership of our company," said Costa Crociere S.p.A. President Gianni Onorato. "Despite the ongoing effects of the economic downturn in 2010 and the uncertain outlook for global tourism, our fleet expansion program has continued uninterrupted. The strength of our brand, which comes with a guarantee of over 60 years of experience, and the quality of our product have proved to be winning assets, highly appreciated by our customers. That is confirmed also by the positive results in terms of bookings achieved this summer and forecasts suggest we will end 2010 with 2.1 million total guests for the group as a whole, which works out to an increase of around 17% compared to last year."
The construction of each new build involves the labor of around 3,000 people, comprising both Fincantieri's own employees and those of about 500 contracted suppliers, most of which are Italian firms. In overall terms, the fleet investment program launched back in 2000 by the Costa Crociere S.p.A. Group (comprising Costa Cruises as well as the number one brand for the German market AIDA Cruises and Iberocruceros, which operates mainly for the Spanish- and Portuguese-speaking markets) is worth some 9.3 billion euros.
Giuseppe Bono, Fincantieri CEO commented: "It is a source of great pride for us to launch this new jewel we are building for our friends at Costa, Europe's cruise leader with whom we are pleased to further strengthen our long-lasting, successful relationship. This partnership, besides affording prestige, is absolutely vital, not only for the future of the tourism sector, but also for all the areas of business involved since, without the many ships built for Costa, Fincantieri would not be here today defending the company's world leadership and the impact of the current serious crisis would be even greater. More than ever before it is important to develop the partnership, to ensure that our two companies may long continue to represent the excellence of Made in Italy around the world, the leading builder and the leading operator in the cruise ship market."