50,000-GRT 'Costa Classica' Launched At Fincantieri's Marghera Yard

The recent launching of the 50,000-grt Costa Classica, Costa Crociere's flagship, at Fincantieri's Marghera, Venice, shipyard was hailed by a Costa official as the return of the "golden age of great Italian cruise liners." Dr. Nicola Costa, president of the Costa Crociere Group, and Dr. Corrado Antonin, Fincantieri's managing director and general manager, were on hand for the ceremonies.

"The launching of the Costa Classica represents a return to the golden era of great Italian cruise liners," said Dr. Costa at a recent press conference. "The construction of this liner is part of Costa Crociere's extensive investment program, aimed at renewing and expanding its fleet, which by 1994, will include 10 cruise liners and put Costa Crociere fifth in the world market." "The Costa Classica is not an Italian ship simply because it is Italianowned, or because it has been built in Italy, home of the most important passenger ship construction industry in the world," continued Dr.

Costa, "it is Italian in its design, its style, its furnishing, symbolizing a way of life at sea which has come to be known as 'cruising Italian style.'" Expected to be operated in the Caribbean, the largest cruise market in the world, the Costa Classica will have a maximum passenger capacity of 1,905 with a total of 654 cabins, varying from suites with balconies to standard inside and outside cabins.

The ratio of outside cabins will be 67 percent. She is powered by four GMT-Sulzer 8ZAL 40S main diesel engines, rated at 4 x 5,300 kw.

She will also have four GMT A- 320.12 diesel generator sets, rated at 4 x 3,660 kw.

Built at a cost of 365 billion lire (about $316.5 million), delivery of the vessel is scheduled for only nine months after launching, as a result of the innovative integrated design, construction and outfitting system developed by Fincantieri which allows for a remarkable degree of flexibility combined with a high-quality construction and finish. The Marghera, Venice, yard's accurate planning of all steps of the actual building process resulted in what has been regarded as the fastest construction performed in recent years for this type of vessel.

State-of-the-art technology and Computer Aided Design have optimized working procedures and made it possible to pre-assemble the ship in blocks away from the shipbuilding dock.

Eighty sections of the 12-deck ship were fitted out with a large percentage of the auxiliary equipment and piping and then taken to the Fincantieri-Marghera yard, where they have been under assembly since May 1990.

Just prior to the delivery of the Costa Classica to Costa Crociere later this year, Fincantieri expects to lay the keel of the Statendam. She will be the first of three 55,000 grt cruise ships to be operated by Holland America Lines.

Costa Crociere Group, with the construction of the Costa Classica and her sister ship, Costa Romantica, which will be delivered in 1993, is adding a significant landmark of quality to the most important stage of its fleet renewal program that will enable the company to maintain its prominent position in the world cruise market.

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