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Friday, June 30, 2006
COSTA CROCIERE TAKES DELIVERY FROM FINCANTIERI OF THE NEW FLAGSHIP COSTA CONCORDIA.
An innovative ship with unique features, set to become
a symbol of “Made in Italy” worldwide.
On board: the largest wellness center ever built on a cruise ship, a Gran Prix driving simulator, two swimming pools with a sliding roof, and a giant movie screen.
After the Costa Concordia 4 more Costa Crociere ships ordered from Fincantieri and due to enter service between 2007 and 2010, with a total investment of 2 billion euros.

Genoa – June 30, 2006 – Costa Crociere’s new flagship the Costa Concordia has been delivered today by Fincantieri at its Sestri Ponente shipyard in Genoa.

Weighing in at 112,000 gross tonnage and with total Guest capacity of 3780, the Costa Concordia is the largest cruise ship flying the Italian flag and the biggest European passenger vessel in terms of capacity.

“The delivery of the Costa Concordia,” said Costa Crociere President Gianni Onorato, “fills us with great pride and satisfaction. Not just because she is the largest Italian and European ship thet will enable us to consolidate our leadership in a rapidly expanding market like the European one. But also because this ship is a veritable showcase of innovation and state-of-the-art technology that will add to Costa’s competitive edge and set us even further apart from other tour operators.”

“To bear testimony to an intense, wide ranging thorough relationship built over the years with Costa, - said Enrico Buschi, Fincantieri Merchant Ship General Manager – we dedicated the output of our shipyard in Sestri Ponente (Genoa) to the fleet renewal program of Costa Crociere, five ships, starting in 2002. A strong link has since then developed between the owner and the yard, underlining the deep rooted links of both Costa and Fincantieri with Genoa. To further sustain, within the agreed terms, the customer’s development plans, we assigned to Marghera shipyard the construction of a new-generation ship for the owner. The program for Costa is indeed remarkable for the investment and the commitment it entails, including repairs and upgrading recently completed on three vessels. It will enable us to continue building state-of-the-art vessels bearing testimony to the capacity of the Italian industry.”

Costa Crociere has invested around 450 million euros in the building of the Costa Concordia, which includes several unique innovations for the global cruise industry. Starting with Samsara Spa, the largest wellness center ever built on a cruise ship (2104 m2); 55 cabins and 12 suites have direct access to the Spa and are linked to a package heralding a new style of wellness vacation. The Costa Concordia is also the first ship to have two swimming pools under a retractable glass roof: one astern and the other amidships on the same deck.. This is the largest enclosable outdoor area on any cruise ship (3500 m2), enabling use of the pools also on winter cruises in the Mediterranean, where the ship will be operating until 2007. In addition, the central pool area is fitted with a giant 18 m2 movie screen, which can be used for daytime projection of video clips and similar entertainment as well as nighttime film screenings. Another exclusive innovation on board is the totally authentic Grand Prix driving simulator, the most accurate representation of Grand Prix car ever.

Costa Concordia is set to become another Italian Made symbol globally: she was built in the historic shipyards in Sestri Ponente (Genoa) by Fincantieri, the Italian company and the world’s leading cruise ship and large ferry builder, for the Italian operator Costa Crociere, Europe’s no. 1 cruise company, while her interiors have been decorated by some of Italy’s leading designers and feature works by top Italian artists. One of the ship’s five restaurants have menus devised by the Italian culinary innovator Ettore Bocchia, executive chef at the Grand Hotel Villa Serbelloni in Bellagio and a Michelin restaurateur.

In keeping with all Costa’s most recent ships, the interior decoration of the Costa Concordia, designed by American architect Joe Farcus, is based on a central idea, represented in this case by the architectural and artistic styles developed in Europe that are so distinctive of some of the Europe’s loveliest cities, with the public areas of the vessel named accordingly. Also in line with the Costa tradition, the ship displays many contemporary artworks: some 6,000 of them, comprising copies and original works by emerging and established artists from European Arts Academies..

The delivery of the Costa Concordia brings to eleven the number of ships in the Costa fleet, Europe’s largest and most advanced, with total capacity of around 20,500 berths in double occupancy cabins. Costa Crociere has commissioned four more new buildings, of which one is on option, all from Fincantieri. The Sestri Ponente yard will build two sister ships of the Costa Concordia: the Costa Serena, due to enter service in May 2007, and a second vessel which is still to be named and will be delivered in summer 2009. Meanwhile, an order has been placed at Fincantieri’s Marghera shipyard for a 92,700 gross tonnage cruise vessel, with an option for a sister ship; these running mates are expected to enter service in spring 2009 and fall 2010, respectively.
The total outlay for these four new orders amounts to approximately 2 billion euros (for four ships), which is part of a total investment of 4.5 billion euros made by Costa Crociere since 2000 for its fleet expansion and upgrading program. In 2010, with the delivery of the last ship on order, if the option is exercised, Costa Crociere’s fleet will consist of 15 vessels with a total capacity of more than 30,700 lower berths.

Following delivery, on July 5 at the Genoa Maritime Terminal, the Teatro Atene on the Costa Concordia will be the venue for the “Concerto del Cuore “ (Concert of the Heart), organized at the behest of His Eminence Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, with proceeds going to the Gaslini Children’s Hospital: Pippo Baudo will present the concert of Andrea Bocelli accompanied by the Carlo Felice Theater Orchestra from Genoa.

The christening of the ship will be held on July 7 in the port of Rome (Civitavecchia), with Eva Herzigova featuring as the godmother and Antonella Clerici as the Master of Ceremonies.
The Costa Concordia will leave from Civitavecchia on her (5-day) premiere cruise on July 9. This will be followed by her 9-day maiden cruise, with departure again from Civitavecchia on July 14 and a stopover in Savona (July 15). During the 2006 summer season the Costa Concordia will be offering 7-day Mediterranean cruises calling at Savona, Barcelona, Palma de Mallorca, Tunis, Malta, Palermo and Civitavecchia.