Tuesday, May 15, 2007
The latest addition to the Costa Crociere fleet, Europe’s largest and most advanced.
The Costa Serena, Europe’s largest and most innovative liner, inspired by the gods of Classical Mythology.
After the Costa Serena 3 more Costa Crociere ships ordered from Fincantieri,
due for delivery in 2009 and 2010, with a total investment of almost 3.5 billion euros.
Dual christening for the new flagship: May 19 in Marseilles with the actress Marion Cotillard as godmother, and a simultaneous “virtual” christening on “Second Life”.

Genoa – May 15, 2007 – The Costa Serena, the new flagship of Costa Crociere, the number one cruise company in Europe, has been delivered today by Fincantieri at its Sestri Ponente shipyard in Genoa.

Like her sister ship Costa Concordia, which entered service in July 2006, the Costa Serena is the largest passenger ship flying the Italian flag and the largest European liner in terms of capacity: 114,000 gross tonnage, 292 meters in length and accommodation for up to 3780 Guests in 1500 cabins.

“The delivery of the Costa Serena,” announced Costa Crociere SpA Group Chairman & CEO Pier Luigi Foschi, “fills us with great pride and satisfaction. She is an innovative ship, a showcase of cutting-edge technology that will set Costa even further apart from other tour operators. Also, with the arrival of the Costa Serena the Costa Crociere fleet is now 12 strong, enabling us to consolidate our brand leadership in the rapidly expanding European market. We’re now nearing the one million mark, which was our set objective for the end of this year: in just 5 months in 2007 we have already clocked up about 880,000 bookings, equaling the entire volume of Guests carried in 2006. With three more ships already ordered and all due for delivery by 2010, another record-breaking milestone for the Costa Crociere brand is already taking shape: 1.5 million Guest reservations in 2010.”

"Our relationship with Costa Crociere goes far beyond that of a customer and supplier – commented Giuseppe Bono, Fincantieri’s Chief Executive Officer – it is a true partnership. I am confident that this alliance will last over the course of time and will enable our companies to further strengthen the leading positions we have reached within our respective markets."

Costa Crociere has invested around 450 million euros in the construction of the Costa Serena, which offers highly innovative facilities:
- Samsara Spa, one of the largest wellness centers ever built on a cruise ship (2154 m²). The number of Samsara cabins, i.e. those with direct access to the Spa, has increased to 99 (there are 67 on the Costa Concordia), including 12 suites (covering a total of 2322 m²), in response to the enormous popularity of this innovation. Also included is the exclusive Samsara Restaurant, with its specially conceived wellness menus;
- 4 swimming pools, 2 of which (one astern and the other amidships) fitted with a sliding glass roof, the central pool area being fitted with a giant 18m² movie screen. This is the largest enclosable pool area on any cruise ship (3500 m²), enabling use in any weather and ensuring ideal cruise holidays even in mid-winter in the Mediterranean, where the new flagship will be operating until the end of 2008;
- a totally authentic Grand Prix driving simulator, the most accurate representation of GP ever;
- menus in the Costa Serena’s “Club Bacco” à la carte restaurant devised by the Italian culinary innovator Ettore Bocchia, executive chef at the Grand Hotel Villa Serbelloni in Bellagio and a Michelin restaurateur, with culinary delights based on the finest Italian gastronomic tradition with the accent on the use of fresh ingredients of the highest quality.

The interiors of the Costa Serena are designed by the ingenious American architect Joe Farcus, their central theme being Greek and Roman mythology. This is also the leitmotiv running through the many artworks on board (5990 works, including 440 originals), contributed by 34 international artists (Omar Galliani, Aldo Spoldi, Nicola Salvatore, Stefano Pizzi, Fernando De Filippi and Wal, among many others). Starting from “L’Olimpo Spattacoloso” (Spectacular Olympus), a monumental artwork including 16 “Sculpture Costumes” by Alberto Nodolini (made using Rubelli-Lisio materials from the Sartoria Fiore), inspired by Roman Mythology, and installed in the Pantheon Atrium in a stunning visual scene.

The delivery of the Costa Serena brings the number of ships in the Costa fleet, Europe’s largest and most advanced, to 12, with total capacity of approximately 23,200 berths in dual occupancy cabins. Costa Crociere has commissioned 3 more liners, all from Fincantieri: the Sestri Ponente yard will build a third sister ship of the Costa Concordia and Costa Serena, due for delivery in spring 2009; two 92,700 gross tonnage running mates will be built in Marghera, one – to be named the Costa Luminosa – due to enter service in spring 2009 and the other in March 2010. Since 2003 Costa Crociere has invested a total of 3.5 billion euros in Italy, placing orders with Fincantieri for 7 new ships, as part of a fleet expansion and upgrading program worth almost 4.5 billion euros which was launched by the Italian Company in 2000. By 2010, when the last of the new buildings is delivered, the Costa Crociere fleet will be 15 strong and have total capacity of over 30,800 passengers (in dual occupancy cabins).

The christening ceremony for the Costa Serena will be held on May 19, 2007 in Marseilles with a very special guest as godmother for the occasion: the beautiful French actress Marion Cotillard, who is currently starring in her latest movie “La Vie en Rose”, a portrayal of the legendary French singer Edith Piaf. The inaugural show, “Mediterranean Serenade”, will be open to the city as a whole and will feature the ship in a playful “dialog” of color and light with Marseille’s main monuments. Together with the actual christening itself, there will be a parallel “virtual” event: the new Costa flagship will also be making her debut on “Second Life”, the 3D Internet-based virtual world. The over 6 million “inhabitants” of “Second Life” will be able to visit the terminal “Palacrociere”, board the ship and discover all the innovations offered by the Costa Serena.

The Grand Inaugural Cruise will depart from Venice on May 26 with an 8-day itinerary to Turkey and Greece via Bari (May 27). Every Sunday from June through November 2007 the Costa Serena will depart from the port of the city of canals on 7-day cruises calling at Bari, Olympia (Greece), Izmir and Istanbul (Turkey), and Dubrovnik (Croatia). In winter 2007/2008 she will offer 10- and 11-day cruise vacations to the Canary Islands with departures from Savona.