The ceremony to inaugurate Costa Crociere
’s new flagship will be held on 7th June 2003, staged by Valerio Festi and listed in the “Monumental May” calendar of events.
Naples, November 7, 2002. Naples, renowned as an artistic and seafaring city, has been chosen to host the christening ceremony for the Costa Mediterranea, Costa Crociere’s new flagship under construction in the Kvaerner Masa Yards in Helsinki. The event will take place next year on 7th June. The news was announced on board her sister ship, Costa Atlantica, by the Chairman of the company, Pier Luigi Foschi, before an audience that included the Mayor of Naples, the Honourable Rosa Russo Iervolino, and the Chairman of the Port Authority, Senator Francesco Nerli
The ship will leave the Finnish shipyard on May 23 and reach the Neapolitan port a fortnight later on June 6. The inauguration is sure to be artistic and particularly memorable, since the ceremony will be directed by Valerio Festi – well-known to local residents for having staged the 2001 “New Year’s Eve in Piazza” show – and is to be included in the 2003 “Monumental May” programme of events as announced by Mayor Iervolino.
We have chosen Naples for the christening of our new flagship for two reasons – said Pier Luigi Foschi, the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Costa Crociere. There could be no more appropriate location for the inauguration of a ship called Mediterranea than the beautiful sea of Naples, whose port occupies a central position in the Mediterranean. Secondly, we would like to use this ceremony to strengthen the bond linking us to a city where our ships have been operating since the early 1950s, and where we are proud to be the number one cruise operator with 15% of the calls and 20% of the passengers, comprising around 120,000 Guests of whom over 45,000 have disembarked from Costa’s ships and been on excursions to Naples, Capri or Pompeii.
The Costa Mediterranea will be 86,000 gross tonnage, 32 metres in breadth and 292 metres in length, and will have more than 700 veranda cabins.
She will be a splendid ship with a surprising, tasteful, elegantly Italian style. The interiors will be particularly refined, inspired by noble 17th and 18th century Italian palazzi. The decor has been designed partly as a tribute to Italian dance and theatre and the spectacular main lobby will feature the major characters from the commedia dell’arte, who have done so much to promote Naples and the city’s legends.
Following her 8-day inaugural cruise departing from Genoa, on 30th June the new flagship of the Costa fleet will begin operating on weekly cruises out of Naples with departures every Monday.
"The arrival of Costa’s new flagship,” declared Senator Francesco Nerli, the Chairman of the Naples Port Authority
, “confirms the choices made some time ago by the Naples Port Authority. Together with commercial trade, in fact, cruise shipping constitutes one of the major assets on which we’ve based our programme of expansion and development of the port. Our plans for the transformation of the port are aimed at improving both its functional efficiency and its facilities for tourists. The key aspects of the strategy for the area set aside for tourists and passengers are: the setting up of a public holding company (Port Authority, Municipality, Provincial Council and Regional Administration) for the redevelopment of the area between the Antico Molo S. Vincenzo and Immacolatella Vecchia and the establishment of a public-private joint venture to manage the cruise/passenger terminal as a whole. In the months remaining,” Senator Nerli concluded, “prior to the inauguration of the Costa Mediterranea, scheduled for 7th June, we will be striving to take all those steps and measures needed to implement these strategic decisions."
The vessels in the Costa fleet have brought more than 130,000 tourists to Naples this year on 63 cruises.