Most Americans remember her simply as Holiday, a Carnival "Fun Ship" and the source of memorable cruise vacations. She recently sailed off to Europe and will soon perform that same function under a new name—Grand Holiday—after a complete transformation inside and out. (We're happy to see she retains her distinctive winged funnel.)
Costa Group, the largest Italian tourism group and Europe’s number one cruise company is making a significant investment, worth approximately €55 million, on Iberocruceros’ Grand Holiday in the S. Giorgio shipyards in the port of Genoa from Dec 2009 through April 2010. These operations entail a radical restyling of the ship to prepare it to 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 7-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.