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Founded in 1854 as Giacomo Costa fu Andrea, the company originally operated cargo ships, carrying olive oils and textiles.[3] In 1924, the company passed to founder's sons (Federico, Eugenio and Enrico) that started commercial activities, buying the ship Ravenna. Commercial activities continued until the introduction of passenger services in 1948,[3] with regular services between Italy and South America. The company later converted its entire fleet to full-time cruising, and as an independent company became one of the largest cruise operators in Europe. Acquired by Carnival Corporation in 2000, Costa Cruises is now one of ten brands operated by Carnival and accounts for approximately 16% of its revenue.[4]

Today, as Costa Cruises Group, the company is one of the main operating companies in the Carnival group, with executive control of the group's activities in Europe. The company is responsible for operation of Costa Cruises in Italy, and AIDA Cruises in Germany and was formerly responsible for the operation of Ibero Cruises in Spain. AIDA was previously a subsidiary of P&O Princess Cruises, being transferred to Costa following the merger of Carnival Corporation and P&O Princess in 2002. Ibero Cruises is a new brand, created in 2007 as a joint venture between Carnival Corporation and Orizonia Group.

The Costa Cruises brand currently operates fourteen cruise ships, which all sail under the Italian flag and provide cruise holidays in the Mediterranean, Northern Europe, the Caribbean, the Indian Ocean, the Middle East, South East Asia and South America.

The company gained international attention on January 13, 2012 when one of its cruise ships, the Costa Concordia ran aground and capsized off the coast of Italy, because Captain Francesco Schettino wanted to 'salute' the Italian island of Giglio off Tuscany with a close sail past at night.[5] The captain was one of the crew to leave the sinking ship early while many passengers were still on board.[6] Thirty-two people died.[6] Six weeks later the company made headlines again when a fire on Costa Allegra left it drifting without power for 13 hours in waters near Somalia frequented by pirates, before the ship was taken under tow.[7]

On July 27, 2014, after tugboats towed the wreck of the Costa Concordia 200 miles (320 kilometers) north from the island of Giglio over a period of five days, the Costa Concordia arrived in its home port of Genoa, Italy, for eventual scrapping.[8] The total cost of the disaster is estimated to be over $2 billion.[9] On February 11, 2015, Captain Francesco Schettino was found guilty by an Italian court of multiple manslaughter, causing the shipwreck, and abandoning his passengers and was sentenced to 16 years in prison.[10] An Italian appeals court on May 31, 2016 upheld the 16-year prison sentence.[11]

In February 2018, Costa announced its partnership with football club Juventus - “The Italian Champion at Sea, The Glorious League.”[12]

Market positionEdit

As of 2015, according to Scott Knutson, vice president of sales and marketing who for Costa Cruises North America Costa was “... uniquely positioned as the only international brand that hasn’t adapted its product to the American market. That authenticity allows us to go to a certain segment of the market. It’s those vacationers who like the international experience — the food, the wine, the service." Italians accounted for 25 to 30 percent of bookings on most Costa cruises, and they were followed by passengers from France, Germany and Spain. Depend on the season or destination, North Americans could made up 5 to 15 percent of the passenger's list's. The "universal" language on board was English.[13]


Current fleetEdit

Mistral classEdit

Ship Built Builder Entered service
for Costa
Gross tonnage Flag Notes Image
Costa neoRiviera[14] 1999 Chantiers de l'Atlantique 2013 48,200    Previously Mistral for the failed Festival Cruises and Grand Mistral For Iberocruceros.[15]
Will leave the fleet and transfer to AIDA in December 2019, as AIDAMira

Classica classEdit

Ship Built Builder Entered service
for Costa
Gross tonnage Flag Notes Image
Costa neoRomantica 1993 Fincantieri 1993 56,769     Originally Costa Romantica, received a €90 million refit in 2012 and renamed Costa neoRomantica  

Victoria classEdit

Ship Built Builder Entered service
for Costa
Gross tonnage Flag Notes Image
Costa Victoria 1996 Bremer Vulkan 1996 75,166  
Similar to Norwegian Sky and Norwegian Sun.  

Atlantica classEdit

Ship Built Builder Entered service
for Costa
Gross tonnage Flag Notes Image
Costa Atlantica 2000 Kværner Masa-Yards
Helsinki New Shipyard
2000 85,619   It is scheduled to be transferred to a new Chinese cruise line by the end of 2019.[16]  
Costa Mediterranea 2003 Kværner Masa-Yards
Helsinki New Shipyard
2003 85,619   It is scheduled to be transferred to a new Chinese cruise line by the end of 2020.[16]  

Fortuna (Triumph) classEdit

Ship Built Builder Entered service
for Costa
Gross tonnage Flag Notes Image
Costa Fortuna 2003 Fincantieri 2003 102,587   Identical to Carnival Triumph and Carnival Victory  
Costa Magica 2004 Fincantieri 2004 102,587  
Identical to Carnival Triumph and Carnival Victory  

Concordia classEdit

Ship Built Builder Entered service
for Costa
Gross tonnage Flag Notes Image
Costa Serena 2007 Fincantieri 2007 114,500   Concordia-class  
Costa Pacifica 2009 Fincantieri 2009 114,500   Concordia-class  
Costa Favolosa 2011 Fincantieri 2011 114,500   Modified Concordia-class  
Costa Fascinosa 2012 Fincantieri 2012 114,500   Modified Concordia-class  

Luminosa class (Hybrid Spirit/Vista Class)Edit

Ship Built Builder Entered service
for Costa
Gross tonnage Flag Notes Image
Costa Luminosa 2009 Fincantieri 2009 92,700   Hybrid design between Atlantica and Vista-class ships  
Costa Deliziosa 2010 Fincantieri 2010 92,700   Hybrid design between Atlantica and Vista-class ships  

Diadema (Dream) classEdit

Ship Built Builder Entered service
for Costa
Gross tonnage Flag Notes Image
Costa Diadema 2014 Fincantieri 2014 133,019   Modified Dream Class ship.  

Venezia (Vista) classEdit

Ship Built Builder Entered service
for Costa
Gross tonnage Flag Notes Image
Costa Venezia 2019 Fincantieri 2019 135,500   Largest ship built for Costa Cruises.It was built specially for the Chinese market.[17]  

Future shipsEdit

Ship In Costa service Builder Gross tonnage Flag Notes Image
Costa Smeralda[18] November 2019 Meyer Turku 183,900   Will be the largest ship to be built for Costa Cruises.
Costa Firenze October 2020 Fincantieri 135,500   Will be built specially for the Chinese market.[17]
Costa Toscana May 2021 Meyer Turku 183,900   Sister-ship to Costa Smeralda.

Former fleetEdit

Ship In Costa service Notes Image
Angelina Lauro (1977-1979) Chartered from Lauro Lines. The ship was destroyed by fire while docked in Saint Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands on March 30, 1979. The ship later sank on September 24, 1979 while being towed to a scrapyard.
Anna C I (1948–1971) Ex Prince line Southern Prince. Requisitioned as HMS Southern Prince in WW2. Scrapped after a serious fire in 1971.  
Anna C II (1971-1981) Built in 10.1955 at Wilton-Fijenoord, Schiedam yard in the Netherlands. LOA 150.3m, 19.2m, DWT 10,272, Flag Panama, Class Registro Italiano Navale. Sold in 1981 to Chaldeos Freighters Ltd and renamed Damenham. Sold to Geofman International for demolition. Broken up at Gadani beach on 2 June 1984.
Andrea C (1948–1981) Built in 1942 as the Ocean ship Ocean Virtue. Converted for passenger use in1948. Scrapped in 1982.  
Luisa C (1947–1955) Built as the Asanao in 1919. Sold and renamd Robert Luckenbach in 1922. After service with Costa she was sold in 1955 and renamed Sula. Scrapped in 1959.
Maria C (1947–1953)  
Franca C (1952–1977)  
Flavia (1968–1982)  
Federico C (1958–1983)  
Fulvia C (1969–1970) Sank July 20, 1970 following an explosion and fire in the engine room.
Giovanna C (1947–1953)
Italia (1974–1983)  
Bianca C (1959–1961) Sank October 24, 1961 following an explosion and fire in the engine room.  
Carla C (1967–1985, 1986–1992)  
Columbus C (1981–1984)  
Danae (1979–1992)  
Daphne (1979–1997)  
Enrico C/Enrico Costa (1965–1994)  
Eugenio C (1966–1996)  
Costa Riviera (1981–1993, 1994–2002)  
Costa Olympia (never entered service) Originally ordered for Costa Cruises. It was to be the sister ship of the Costa Victoria. Its construction was halted following the financial collapse of the shipyard. The unfinished hull was sold to Norwegian Cruise Lines and was completed as the Norwegian Sky.  
Costa Playa (1995–1998)  
Costa Tropicale (2001–2005)  
Costa Europa (2002–2010)  
Costa Marina (1988–2011)  
Costa Concordia (2006-2012) Ran aground, capsized and partially sunk on January 13, 2012. It was later deemed a total constructive loss. The shipwreck was later removed and dismantled for scrap.  
Costa Splendor (never entered service) Originally ordered for Costa Cruises but transferred during construction to Carnival Cruise Lines and became Carnival Splendor.  
Costa Allegra (1989-2012) Withdrawn from service following an engine room fire on February 27, 2012. Subsequently, sold for scrap.  
Costa Voyager (2011-2013) Formerly Grand Voyager for Iberocruceros, transferred in 2013,now Chinese Taishan.  
Costa Celebration (never entered service) The ship was inherited from Iberocruceros after its operations were discontinued. The ship had undergone a refit and was renamed. The day before the ship was scheduled to depart on its inaugural voyage, the vessel had been sold to an unnamed buyer. This was later revealed to be Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line.  
Costa neoClassica 1991–2018 Originally Costa Classica, received a €18 million refit in 2014 and renamed Costa neoClassica. Left the fleet in March 2018 as it was sold to Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line.[19]  

Accidents and incidentsEdit

See also Carnival Cruises Accidents and incidents for incidents associated with the parent company's other cruise operations.

MV Bianca CEdit

On Sunday October 22, 1961, the Bianca C was off Grenada when an explosion occurred in the engine room causing the deaths of two crew members and the ship to catch fire. Local fishermen helped rescue the passengers and crew but as the local authorities did not have the equipment to extinguish the fire the ship was left to burn until the British frigate HMS Londonderry arrived from Puerto Rico. The burning ship was in the main anchorage and would block the harbour if it sank there, so the Londonderry towed it to a different location where the Bianca C sank.

Costa Concordia sinkingEdit

Costa Concordia capsized on reef

On January 13, 2012, Costa Concordia ran aground off Isola del Giglio, Tuscany. The ship capsized and partially sank, killing 32 people. In 2014, the ship was parbuckled and refloated with caissons, and in July 2014 it was towed to its home port of Genoa, where it was dismantled and eventually scrapped.

Costa Allegra engine room fire, ship adriftEdit

On February 27, 2012, Costa Allegra suffered an engine room fire and went adrift in the Indian Ocean. After several days adrift without power, the ship was towed to the Seychelles island of Desroches but was unable to dock there. She was then towed to Mahé, Seychelles, where the passengers disembarked. No casualties were reported.

On 9 March 2012, it was announced that Costa Allegra would not return to service with Costa, and she was given to Themis Maritime Ltd ship company.[20] In late 2012, Costa Allegra was beached at Aliaga, Turkey, for scrapping.[21]




  1. ^ "Company profile Archived 2010-04-09 at the Wayback Machine." Costa Cruises. Retrieved on January 20, 2010.
  2. ^ "Dati Societari Archived 2010-12-06 at the Wayback Machine." Costa Cruises. Retrieved on 15 January 2012. "Sede legale: Piazza Piccapietra 48, 16121 Genova - Italia"
  3. ^ a b Staff, C. I. N. (2008-03-27). "Costa Celebrates 60 Years of History". Retrieved 2019-08-15.
  4. ^ "2012 World Wide Market Share". Cruise Market Watch. 2011-11-20.
  5. ^ "Luxury cruise ship Costa Concordia runs aground". NBC News. Retrieved 2019-08-15.
  6. ^ a b "Concordia skipper's sentence upheld". 2016-05-31. Retrieved 2019-08-15.
  7. ^ "Costa ship adrift off Seychelles". 2012-02-27. Retrieved 2019-08-15.
  8. ^ "Costa Concordia reaches Genoa's main port for scrapping after 200-mile journey from wreckage site". The Independent. 27 July 2014.
  9. ^ "Costa Concordia capsizing costs over $2 billion for owners". Reuters. 2014-07-06. Retrieved 2019-08-15.
  10. ^ "Costa Concordia captain Schettino guilty of manslaughter". BBC World News. 11 February 2015.
  11. ^ "Costa Concordia "Captain's Prison Sentence Upheld by Italian Court"". Time. 31 May 2016. Retrieved 10 August 2016.
  12. ^ Staff, CIN (2018-02-06). "Costa and Juventus Partnership Kicks Off Aboard Costa Serena". Retrieved 2018-02-09.
  13. ^ Shillinglaw, Greg (March 30, 2015). "Sailing Italian Style". Travel Pulse. Retrieved April 14, 2015.
  14. ^ "Overnights and unusual destinations mark new Costa project".
  15. ^ "Grand Mistral South America season cancelled, ship transferred to Costa".
  16. ^ a b "Costa Atlantica and Mediterranea Sold to New Chinese Brand". 2018-11-06. Retrieved 2018-11-18.
  17. ^ a b Staff, CIN (30 December 2015). "Carnival Announces Newbuilds for Costa, Princess and P&O Australia".
  18. ^ "Construction of LNG-powered cruise ship Costa Cruises NB-1394 begins at Meyer Turku shipyard". 2017-09-13. Retrieved 2017-09-15.
  19. ^ Staff, CIN (2 August 2017). "Costa Confirms: Victoria Back to Europe, neoClassica Sold".
  20. ^ Hannah Sampson (10 March 2012). "Micky Arison on Costa Concordia accident: "I am very sorry it happened."". The Miami Herald. Retrieved 19 March 2012.
  21. ^ Gene Sloan (9 March 2012). "Fire-damaged cruise ship Costa Allegra will not return". USAToday. Retrieved 19 March 2012.


  • Ceserani, Gian Paolo; Piccione, Paolo (1998). Costa Crociere: cinquant'anni di stile [Costa Cruises: fifty years of style] (in Italian). Cinisello Balsamo, Milano: Silvana Editoriale. ISBN 8882150976.
  • Dellacasa, Erika (2012). I Costa: storia di una famiglia e di un'impresa [The Costas: the story of a family and a business] (in Italian). Venezia: Marsilio Editori. ISBN 9788831713030.
  • Peter, Bruce (2012). Costa Cruises. Ramsey, Isle of Man: Ferry Publications. ISBN 9781906608408.
  • Piccione, Paolo, ed. (2002). Costa crociere: ritratto di una flotta : storia per immagini delle navi Costa [Costa Cruises: portrait of a fleet: picture story of the Costa ships] (in Italian). Cinisello Balsamo, Milano: Silvana Editoriale. ISBN 888215386X.
  • Piccione, Paolo; Fochessati, Matteo (2003). Crociere nell'Arte: arte a bordo delle navi Italiane [Cruising into art: art on board Italian liners] (in Italian and English). Genova: Tormeno. ISBN 8884800595.
  • Piccione, Paolo; Ceserani, Gian Paolo; Palazzini, Fiora Steinbach (2008). Sessant'anni di crociere Costa: 1948-2008 [Sixty Years of cruising with Costa: 1948-2008] (in Italian). Cinisello Balsamo, Milano: Silvana Editoriale. OCLC 860565092.

External linksEdit