Costa’s newest ship, the Costa Favolosa, took to the sea for the very first time last week at a ceremony held at Fincantieri’s Marghera ship yard in honor of the ship’s technical launch. Costa Favolosa (114,500 tons; 3,000 double occupancy), 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, Europe’s Number One Cruise Line. In Spring 2012, Costa Fascinosa, a sister ship to the Costa Favolosa, will complete Costa’s ambitious fleet expansion program.
“The launch of 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 construction of each new ship involves the labor of around 3,000 people, comprising both the employees of Fincantieri, the shipyard, and those of about 500 contracted suppliers, most of which are Italian firms. The ceremony for the launch of Costa Favolosa observed the protocol laid down for such occasions by seafaring tradition. The director of the shipyard invited the Godmother, Beatrice Siri, to cut the ribbon and the bottle of champagne duly broke against the bows of the ship. Betarice Siri, new building and special projects deputy of Costa Cruises, has been directly involved in the construction of the fleet’s last six ships, including Costa Favolosa. After the opening of the valves and the gradual flooding of the slipway where the ship has taken shape over the last few months, the hull of Costa Favolosa was transferred for the first time to its natural element–-the sea. The launch was preceded by the welding of a coin to the base of what used to be the mainmast in a ceremony traditionally considered to augur well.
As her name suggests (Favola is Italian for “fairy tale”), Costa Favolosa is intended to interpret the excitement and emotion of people who view the cruise as a magical voyage in a “contemporary enchanted castle,” a perfect combination of fabulous atmosphere and state-of-the-art high-tech fun with a truly amazing range of amenities. The main innovations on board include: six new suites with private verandas and Jacuzzis; a new entertainment area for teenagers (other age groups are sure to enjoy it too), comprising 4D Cinema, PlayStation World, a bar with ice-cream, drinks and popcorn, and a Teens’ Dance Floor; a children’s game room, and a new open-air Aqua Park water playground with its own pirate galleon. Facilities will combine the very best of the Costa product: the Samsara Spa, one of the largest and most exclusive wellness centers ever built on a cruise ship; a large lido extending over two decks, with a sliding glass roof and giant movie screen; a Grand Prix driving simulator; and a golf simulator. A newly designed aft pool area will be particularly large and inviting with 1000 m2 of space dedicated to relaxation and entertainment with the added attraction of new raised whirlpool tubs.
The Costa Favolosa is set to make her debut on a 3-day mini vernissage cruise departing from Venice on July 4, 2011, and calling at Dubrovnik (Croatia) and Koper (Slovenia). This will be followed by her grand inaugural cruise, which leaves Venice on July 7. This 10-day itinerary will visit Israel, Greece and Turkey with stopovers in Bari, Corfu (Greece), Haifa (Israel), Izmir (Turkey) and Dubrovnik (Croatia). Throughout the 2011 summer season the Costa Favolosa will offer 7-day cruises from Venice and Bari to Olympia (Greece), Izmir and Istanbul (Turkey), and Dubrovnik (Croatia). For more information on Costa Cruises, visit CostaCruises.com.