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Costa Deliziosa handed over

The 92,600 gross ton Costa Deliziosa has been delivered in Venice by Fincantieri in a handover ceremony marking the occasion. Built at Fincantieri's Marghera (Venice) yard with the labor of around 3,000 people, comprising both the shipyard's own employees and those of about 500 contracted suppliers, the Costa Deliziosa represents a total investment worth EUR 450 million.

The Costa Deliziosa is the third ship delivered by Fincantieri to Costa Cruises in less than nine months, and is part of a EUR 2.4 billion fleet expansion program with five new liners entering service between 2009 and 2012. The Costa Luminosa and Costa Pacifica – christened together on June 5, 2009, at a Guinness World Record event – and the Costa Deliziosa will be followed by the sister ships Costa Favolosa, due for delivery in summer 2011, and the Costa Fascinosa, which will make her debut in spring 2012. The introduction of these five new ships amounts to a 50% increase in capacity for the Costa fleet, Europe's largest, which by 2012 will be 16-strong with accommodations for 45,000 total guests.

"This expansion is clear confirmation of the strength of our company, the popularity of our product and appreciation of its quality," said Costa Crociere S.p.A. Chairman & CEO Pier Luigi Foschi. In 2009, a year marked by a global downturn, approximately 1.3 million customers worldwide chose Costa Cruises, with growth of 8% compared to the year before, in line with the increase in fleet capacity, Foschi added.

The delivery ceremony took place at the Venice Passenger Terminal before an invited audience of dignitaries, including the Honorable Renato Brunetta, Minister for Public Administration and Innovation of the Italian government The event observed the protocol laid down for such ceremonial occasions by Italian seafaring tradition. After the blessing of the vessel by His Excellency, Archbishop Antonio Maria Vegliò, President of the Pontifical Council for Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant People, the Italian tricolor flag was raised.

The christening of the Costa Deliziosa, with the traditional breaking of the bottle against the bow, is scheduled for February 23, 2010, in Dubai at the new Cruise Terminal at Port Rashid, in the presence of guests onboard the liner during her grand inaugural cruise, which departs from Savona on February 5. The Costa Deliziosa will be the first cruise ship ever to be christened in an Arabian city.

In winter 2009/2010, the Costa Deliziosa and Costa Luminosa will be positioned in the Arabian Gulf and will be offering 7-night cruises with two nights in Dubai and one-day stopovers in the ports of Muscat (Oman), Fujairah (United Arab Emirates), Abu Dhabi (United Arab Emirates) and Bahrain. The Costa Deliziosa will be sailing from Dubai every Sunday from March 14 through May 9, 2010; the Costa Luminosa is departing every Saturday from December 12, 2009, through April 10, 2010. Altogether, Costa will make more than 32 calls in Dubai this year with 140,000 passenger movements. In the 2010 summer season, the Costa Deliziosa and Costa Luminosa will be deployed in Northern Europe.

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