Costa Cruises

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Costa Crociere S.p.A.
FounderGiacomo Costa Edit this on Wikidata
HeadquartersGenoa, Italy
Key people
Michael Thamm (President, CEO Costa Group)
Revenue$2.236 billion (2018)[1]
ParentCarnival Corporation & plc

Costa Crociere S.p.A. (Italian pronunciation: [ˈkɔsta kroˈtʃɛːre]), operating as Costa Cruises (Italian: Costa Crociere), is an Italian cruise line founded in 1854 and organized as a wholly owned subsidiary of Carnival Corporation & plc since 2000. Based in Genoa, Italy, the cruise line primarily caters to the Italian cruise market, but the company's fourteen ships, which all sail under the Italian flag, provides itineraries sailing to countries globally.[2][3]


Founded in 1854 by Giacomo Costa as Giacomo Costa fu Andrea, the company originally operated cargo ships, carrying olive oils and textiles.[4] In 1924, the company was passed to the founder's sons (Federico, Eugenio and Enrico) and started commercial activities, buying the ship, Ravenna. In 1947, the name of the company was changed to Linea C.[5]

Commercial activities continued for one more year until 1948, with the introduction of passenger services,[4] beginning with regular services between Italy and South America operated by the ship, Anna C.[5] She marked the start of scheduled operations between Italy and South America after being the first ocean liner to cross the South Atlantic Ocean following World War II.[5]

In 1959, the company gradually transitioned into offering more pleasure holidays, with trips being offered in the Mediterranean and the Caribbean regions.[5] Linea C proceeded to take ownership of its first purpose-built cruise ship in 1964 and went on to own 12 more ships by 1980, making the company the owner of the world's largest fleet of passenger ships.[5] In 1986, Linea C changed its name to Costa Cruises and became a cruise-centered business.[5]

In March 1997, Carnival Corporation and Airtours PLC purchased Costa Cruises for $300 million.[6] At the time, Costa Cruises had been the leading European cruise line, with an estimated market share of 19%.[6] Carnival and Airtours both acquired 50% each of the company.[6]

As subsidiary of Carnival Corporation & plc[edit]

In 2000, Carnival Corporation fully acquired Costa Crociere after Carnival bought out Airtours' 50% interest in Costa for $525 million.[7] In 2002, Carnival Corporation and P&O Princess Cruises merged to form Carnival Corporation & plc, bringing together both companies' assets under one corporation.[8] As of 2018, Costa accounted for approximately 12% of Carnival Corporation & plc's revenue.[1]

In 2004, Costa Crociere purchased control of AIDA Cruises in Germany.[9] In 2007, Carnival Corporation and Orizonia Group created Ibero Cruises in a joint venture.[10] Ibero was absorbed into Costa Cruises in 2014.[11]

In 2012, the company gained international attention when Costa Concordia ran aground and capsized off the coast of Italy on 13 January 2012.[12] Thirty-two people died in the disaster.[12] 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.[13]

In February 2018, Costa announced its partnership with football club, Juventus.[14]

In December 2019, Costa debuted Costa Smeralda and became the second cruise line to operate a cruise ship fully powered by liquefied natural gas (LNG), after AIDA debuted AIDAnova one year earlier.[15] Costa Smeralda is to be joined by her sister LNG ship, Costa Toscana, in 2021. On 30 January 2020 Costa Smeralda was quarantined along with some 6,000 passengers at the Italian port of Civitavecchia following two suspected cases of Covid-19.[16]

Market position and demographics[edit]

As of 2015, Italians accounted for 25 to 30% of bookings on most Costa cruise holidays, followed by the French, the Germans, and the Spanish.[17] North Americans only made up approximately between 5 and 15% of the passengers aboard most ships.[17] English is also mandated as the "universal" language on every Costa ship, and all crew members are required to be able to communicate in it.[17]

During an interview with Travel Pulse in 2015, Scott Knutson, vice president of sales and marketing for Costa Cruises North America, shared his thoughts on Costa's position in the cruise industry and its ways of adapting to an international audience:

The most important thing to keep in mind is that we are an international product. We are 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.[17]

Temporary shutdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic[edit]

Virtually all cruises around the world were cancelled in March 2020 due to the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic.[18] As of September 2020, the no-sail rule by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention prohibited cruising in the U.S. until October 31, 2020 at the earliest but other countries had already allowed for cruises to recommence.[19]

Costa began new sailings on 6 September in Italy, initially with two ships, Costa Deliziosa and Costa Diadema. At that time, the line required all passengers to be from Italy. By 27 September 2020, however, "Costa Cruises will be available for all European citizens who are residents in any of the countries listed in the most recent decree from the Prime Minister of Italy" according to a news report. The company had implemented strict health protocols to protect its staff and guests.[20]


Current fleet[edit]

Ship Built Builder Entered service
for Costa
Gross tonnage Flag Notes Image
Atlantica class
Costa Mediterranea 2003 Kværner Masa-Yards
Helsinki New Shipyard
2003 85,619 Italy It is scheduled to be transferred to a new Chinese cruise line in May 2021.[21]
Fortuna (Triumph) class
Costa Fortuna 2003 Fincantieri 2003 102,587 Italy Identical to Carnival Triumph and Carnival Victory
Costa Magica 2004 Fincantieri 2004 102,587 Italy
Identical to Carnival Triumph and Carnival Victory
Concordia class
Costa Serena 2007 Fincantieri 2007 114,500 Italy Concordia-class Costa Serena in Hakata port.jpg
Costa Pacifica 2009 Fincantieri 2009 114,500 Italy Concordia-class
Costa Favolosa 2011 Fincantieri 2011 114,500 Italy Modified Concordia-class
Costa Fascinosa 2012 Fincantieri 2012 114,500 Italy Modified Concordia-class Costa Fascinosa in 2018.18.jpg
Luminosa class (Hybrid Spirit/Vista Class)
Costa Luminosa 2009 Fincantieri 2009 92,700 Italy Hybrid design between Atlantica- and Vista-class ships
Costa Deliziosa 2010 Fincantieri 2010 92,700 Italy Hybrid design between Atlantica- and Vista-class ships 42DSCF0778 Deliziosa am Nordkapp.jpg
Diadema (Dream) class
Costa Diadema 2014 Fincantieri 2014 133,019 Italy Modified Dream-class ship
Venezia (Vista) class
Costa Venezia 2019 Fincantieri 2019 135,225 Italy Modified Vista-class ship
Exclusively serves the Chinese market.[22]
COSTA VENEZIA 20190513-2 (cropped).jpg
Excellence class
Costa Smeralda 2019 Meyer Turku 2019 185,010[23] Italy Largest ship built for Costa Cruises.

Powered by LNG.

Costa Smeralda Storebælt IV (cropped).jpg

Future fleet[edit]

Ship In Costa service Builder Gross tonnage Flag Notes Image
Costa Firenze October 2020 Fincantieri 135,225 Italy Will exclusively serve the Chinese market.[22]
Sister ship to Costa Venezia.
Costa Toscana November 2021[24] Meyer Turku 185,010 Italy Keel laid on 11 February 2020.[25]
Sister ship to Costa Smeralda.

Powered by LNG.

Former fleet[edit]

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 30 March 1979. The ship later sank on 24 September 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. The Royal Navy during the Second World War A9986.jpg
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 in 1948. Scrapped in 1982. "Andrea C" - La Spezia, 1982.jpg
Luisa C (1947–1955) Built as the Asanao in 1919. Sold and renamed Robert Luckenbach in 1922. After service with Costa, she was sold in 1955 and renamed Sula. Scrapped in 1959.
Maria C (1947–1953) USS Rappahannock (AF-6) underway off Pensacola, Florida (USA), in July 1924 (NH 105186).jpg
Franca C (1952–1977) Postcard of the FRANCA C..jpg
Flavia (1968–1982) "Flavia" - Miami, 1981.JPG
Federico C (1958–1983) Federico C - Genova - 1958.jpg
Fulvia C (1969–1970) Sank 20 July 1970 following an explosion and fire in the engine room.
Giovanna C (1947–1953)
Italia (1974–1983) "Italia" - Piraeus, 1980.jpg
Bianca C. (1959–1961) Sank on 24 October 1961 following an explosion and fire in the engine room.[26] Nave "Bianca C", Genova (1959).jpg
Carla C (1967–1985, 1986–1992) "Pallas Athena" - Istanbul, 1992.jpg
Columbus C (1981–1984) "Columbus C" - Miami, 1984.jpg
Danae (1979–1992) Princess Danae in Corfu harbour, 2008.JPG
Daphne (1979–1997) Daphné - 1992.jpg
Enrico C/Enrico Costa (1965–1994) "Enrico Costa" - Genoa, 1992.jpg
Eugenio C (1966–1996) TN Eugenio C.jpg
Costa Riviera (1981–1993, 1994–2002) MS Costa Riviera (4190594226).jpg
Costa Olympia (never entered service) Originally ordered for Costa Cruises and was to be the sister ship of Costa Victoria. Its construction was halted following the financial collapse of Bremer Vulkan shipyard. The unfinished hull was sold to Norwegian Cruise Lines and was completed as Norwegian Sky. NCLSkyCozumel (cropped).jpg
Costa Playa (1995–1998) Costa Playa.jpg
Costa Tropicale (2001–2005) Costa Tropicale (4836215560).jpg
Costa Europa (2002–2010) MS Costa Europa (5650282308) (cropped).jpg
Costa Marina (1988–2011) Costa Marina.jpg
Costa Concordia (2006–2012) Ran aground, capsized, and partially sunk on 13 January 2012. It was later deemed a total constructive loss and the shipwreck was later removed and dismantled for scrap in Genoa. Costa Concordia in Palma, Majorca, Spain.JPG
Costa Splendor (never entered service) Originally ordered for Costa Cruises but transferred during construction to Carnival Cruise Line and became Carnival Splendor. Carnival Splendor 2009.jpg
Costa Allegra (1989–2012) Withdrawn from service following an engine room fire on 27 February 2012. Subsequently sold for scrap.[27] Costa Allegra in Split on 2011-07-08 (2).jpg
Costa Voyager (2011–2013) Formerly sailed as Grand Voyager for Iberocruceros. Exited fleet in 2013 and sold to Bohai Ferry Company and now sailing as Chinese Taishan. Costa Voyager 02.JPG
Costa Celebration (never entered service) Inherited from Iberocruceros after its operations were discontinued. She underwent a refit and was renamed but the day before the ship was scheduled to depart on inaugural voyage, she was sold to an unnamed buyer, later revealed as Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line.[28] Grand Celebration Rhodes 2012 (2).jpg
Costa neoClassica (1991–2018) Originally Costa Classica, she received a €18 million refit in 2014 and renamed Costa neoClassica. Left the fleet in March 2018 after being sold to Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line and now operating as Grand Classica [29] Costa neoClassica sto argostoli.jpg
Costa neoRiviera[30] (2013–2019) Previously Mistral for Festival Cruises and Grand Mistral For Ibero Cruises.[31] Transferred to AIDA Cruises and operating as AIDAmira from December 2019.[32] Costa neo Riviera IMO 9172777 05 @chesi.JPG
Costa Atlantica (2000–2020) Sold to CSSC Carnival Cruise Shipping in November 2018.[33] Transferred over in January 2020.[34] MS Costa Atlantica.jpg
Costa Victoria (1996–2020) Sold to Genova Trasporti Marittimi in June 2020 and expected to be scrapped in Piombino.[35][36] CostaVictoriaArgostoli.jpg
Costa neoRomantica (1993-2020) Originally Costa Romantica

Received a €90 million refit in 2012 and renamed Costa neoRomantica

The ship was sold to Celestyal Cruises and left the fleet in the end of August 2020.[37]
Costa neoRomantica 2012 Hamburg 06.jpg

Accidents and incidents[edit]

See also Carnival Cruise Line's accidents and incidents for incidents associated with the parent company's other cruise operations.

MV Bianca C. fire and sinking[edit]

On 22 October 1961, Bianca C. was off Grenada when an explosion occurred in the engine room. Two crew members died in the explosion and the ship subsequently caught on 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 on 24 October 1961.[26]

Costa Concordia capsizing[edit]

Costa Concordia capsized on reef

On 13 January 2012, Costa Concordia ran aground off Isola del Giglio in Tuscany. The ship capsized and partially sank, killing 32 people. In 2014, the ship was parbuckled and refloated with caissons, and in July 2014, she was towed to the Port of Genoa over a period of five days, where it was dismantled and eventually scrapped.[38] The total cost of the disaster was estimated to be over $2 billion.[39]

On 11 February 2015, the captain at the helm during the sinking, Francesco Schettino, was found guilty by an Italian court of multiple manslaughter, causing the shipwreck, and abandoning his passengers.[40] He was sentenced to 16 years in prison.[40] An Italian appeals court on 31 May 2016 upheld the 16-year prison sentence.[41]

Costa Allegra engine room fire[edit]

On 27 February 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.[42] In late 2012, Costa Allegra was beached at Aliaga, Turkey, for scrapping.[43]




  1. ^ a b "2018 World Wide Market Share". Cruise Market Watch. Cruise Market Watch. 2 December 2019.
  2. ^ "Company profile Archived 2010-04-09 at the Wayback Machine." Costa Cruises. Retrieved on January 20, 2010.
  3. ^ "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"
  4. ^ a b "Costa Celebrates 60 Years of History". 27 March 2008. Retrieved 15 August 2019.
  5. ^ a b c d e f Coulter, Adam (1 November 2018). "Costa Cruises History". Cruise Critic.
  6. ^ a b c "Carnival, Airtours Sign Costa Pact: Travel Weekly". Travel Weekly. 19 March 1997.
  7. ^ Blum, Ernest (29 August 2000). "Carnival Corp. to buy 100% of Costa". Travel Weekly.
  8. ^ Clark, Andrew; correspondent, transport (25 October 2002). "Carnival wins P&O Princess". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 13 November 2019.
  9. ^ "Seetours re-brands as Aida Cruises". FVW. 4 October 2004. Archived from the original on 31 October 2019.
  10. ^ Cogswell, David (8 February 2007). "Carnival to partner with Iberojet Cruceros in joint venture". Travel Weekly.
  11. ^ Faust, Mike (27 March 2014). "Ibero Cruises To Be Absorbed Into Costa Cruises". Cruise Currents.
  12. ^ a b "Concordia skipper's sentence upheld". 31 May 2016. Retrieved 15 August 2019.
  13. ^ "Costa ship adrift off Seychelles". 27 February 2012. Retrieved 15 August 2019.
  14. ^ Staff, CIN (6 February 2018). "Costa and Juventus Partnership Kicks Off Aboard Costa Serena". Retrieved 9 February 2018.
  15. ^ "Costa to Build Two New Ships". Cruise Industry News. 28 July 2015.
  16. ^ "6,000 passengers stuck on cruise ship in Italy over coronavirus fears". Retrieved 30 January 2020.
  17. ^ a b c d Shillinglaw, Greg (30 March 2015). "Sailing Italian Style". TravelPulse.
  18. ^ "Carnival selling 18 cruise ships amid financial struggles and U.S., Canada no-sail orders". National Post per Washington Post. 17 September 2020. Retrieved 16 September 2020.
  19. ^ "To cruise or not to cruise. Loyalists face a dilemma". LA Times. 10 September 2020. Retrieved 16 September 2020.
  20. ^ "FIRST LARGE CRUISE LINE WITH 2 SHIPS BACK IN OPERATION". Travel Off Path. 20 September 2020. As of 19 September "Costa became the first large cruise line to relaunch the operations of a second ship"
  21. ^ "Five Ships to Leave Costa Fleet by May 2021". 26 September 2019. Retrieved 26 September 2019.
  22. ^ a b Staff, CIN (30 December 2015). "Carnival Announces Newbuilds for Costa, Princess and P&O Australia".
  23. ^ "Costa Smeralda (9781889)". Leonardo Info. Registro Italiano Navale. Retrieved 5 December 2019.
  24. ^ "Steel Cut for New Costa Toscana, Set for 2021 Debut". Cruise Industry News. 30 July 2019.
  25. ^
  26. ^ a b Myers, Robby (3 December 2018). "The History of Grenada's Bianca C Shipwreck". Scuba Diving.
  27. ^ Dixon, Gary (3 September 2012). "Costa Allegra scrapped". TradeWinds.
  28. ^ "Costa Cruises sells the ship and cancels the trip - The Medi Telegraph". Archived from the original on 14 July 2015. Retrieved 4 June 2016.
  29. ^ Staff, CIN (2 August 2017). "Costa Confirms: Victoria Back to Europe, neoClassica Sold".
  30. ^ "Overnights and unusual destinations mark new Costa project".
  31. ^ "Grand Mistral South America season cancelled, ship transferred to Costa".
  32. ^ "AIDAmira Christened". Cruise Industry News. 1 December 2019.
  33. ^ Mathisen, Monty (6 November 2018). "Costa Atlantica and Mediterranea Sold to New Chinese Brand". Cruise Industry News. Retrieved 29 March 2020.
  34. ^ Si, Katherine (13 January 2020). "CSSC Carnival Cruise Shipping takes delivery of Costa Atlantica". Seatrade Cruise News. Retrieved 29 March 2020.
  35. ^ "Costa Victoria arrivata a Piombino ma non potrà essere demolita in Italia". Shipping Italy (in Italian). 23 June 2020. Retrieved 30 June 2020.
  36. ^ Jainchill, Johanna (29 June 2020). "Costa Victoria sold for scrap". Travel Weekly. Retrieved 30 June 2020.
  37. ^ cruise, industrynews (16 July 2020). "Celestyal Purchases Costa neoRomantica".
  38. ^ "Costa Concordia reaches Genoa's main port for scrapping after 200-mile journey from wreckage site". The Independent. 27 July 2014.
  39. ^ "Costa Concordia capsizing costs over $2 billion for owners". Reuters. 6 July 2014. Retrieved 15 August 2019.
  40. ^ a b "Costa Concordia captain Schettino guilty of manslaughter". BBC World News. 11 February 2015.
  41. ^ "Costa Concordia "Captain's Prison Sentence Upheld by Italian Court"". Time. 31 May 2016. Retrieved 10 August 2016.
  42. ^ Hannah Sampson (10 March 2012). "Micky Arison on Costa Concordia accident: "I am very sorry it happened."". The Miami Herald. Retrieved 19 March 2012.
  43. ^ 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 links[edit]