Costa Group – part of Carnival Corporation & plc, the world’s largest cruise company – announced that its new generation ships, the first LNG powered at sea, will call Marseille in 2019.
The Costa Group, the leading tourism group, the No. 1 cruiser in Europe
has renovated its commitment to Port of Marseille through different initiatives that began in 1996 when the new cruise called “La Dolce Vita” started its weekly operations from Marseille to offer the French guests every Saturday a brand new and unique experience in the best places of the Mediterranean onboard its ship Costa Romantica.
This new offer launched by Costa contributed to the French people being more and more interested in experiencing a cruise vacation.
From that time onward the relationships with the Group and the French city were improving continuously: in 2005 when AIDAVita called Marseille for the first time, in 2007 with the Christening of the Costa Serena ship, in 2011 with the new edition of the Around the World Cruise leaving from Marseille and from 2014 deploying its brand new flagship Costa Diadema with weekly calls bringing the overall amount of call from 1996 to a total of 1.445 calls corresponding to more than 4 millions guests transits., and an increasing number of French passengers departing from their home port, Marseille.
In addiction starting from November 2019 Costa Smeralda, the new Costa LNG powered at sea ship, will call Marseille on her itinerary in West Mediterranean sea, as well as AIDANova that will call the French port in 2019.
Costa Group has reinforced its commitment, not only in operating its ships on Marseille, but through the investment in the Chantier Naval de Marseille for the entry of the Group with a 33.3% share in the company controlled by the Genoese San Giorgio del Porto.
“Marseille is a strategic port for our operation in the West Mediterranean and represents the ideal location to perform different activities as offering a great port of call for our embarking guests as well as for those in transit” stated Michael Thamm, Costa Group & Carnival Asia CEO during the inaugural event of the dock 10 at Port of Marseille. “Furthermore we decided to invest in these facilities because our aim is to develop a word-class center for ship repair and conversion”.
At Chantier de Marseille the ships of the Group to go under maintenance will be 7 in total: Costa Magica, Pacifica and Costa neoClassica already dry-docked, will be followed by Costa Victoria, AIDAAura, AIDABella, and AIDABlu for a total of 30 million investment in 6 months.
Costa Group, during the event, also signed the Protocol of ESI (Environmental Ship Index) Implementation. Costa Group has already adhered to the index with the inclusion of its ships Costa Diadema, AIDASol, AIDAPrima and AIDAPerla (to be included in January 2018 with ESI certificate issued on April 1st 2018).
“The Port of Marseille Fos is stepping up its commitment to improving air quality and has introduced a premium for the greenest shipping companies that are trying to reduce their impact,” stated Christine Cabau Woehrel as President of the Port of Marseille. “The Port of Marseille Fos is honored that Costa is the first ship owner to enter this initiative with four of their ships. It’s a very encouraging sign for the future. It will be reinforced in 2019 by Costa LNG powered ships in Marseille.”