WE WERE THERE – The Italian cruise line inaugurated this weekend, during a first stopover in Marseille, its new flagship of 18 decks, powered by liquefied natural gas (LNG). A launch in the form of a rebirth after two years of forced shutdown. Immediate boarding !
“It is the symbol of the recovery of tourism and the cruise ». It is in these enthusiastic terms that Raffaele d’Ambrosio, the France director of the Costa group, presented its new flagship, the Costa Tuscany, during its first stopover, this Sunday, March 6 in Marseille. The president of the regional council of Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur, Renaud Muselier, and the fine flower of local political life had been invited to the traditional plate exchange ceremony.
After two years of forced shutdown and an image damaged by the first months of the pandemic, the Costa Tuscany indeed marks a renaissance. That of the Italian company, which will have put its twelve ships back in the water before the summer, but also that of the sector. Like a giant snub to those who thought that the cruise industry would not recover from the crisis. He left Savona, Italy, on Saturday for his maiden voyage, heading to Marseille. He will then cross the Mediterranean for a week, reaching Barcelona, Palermo and finally Rome.
Three hundred and thirty-seven meters long and 42 meters wide, 18 decks, 6,000 passengers at maximum capacity, 2,663 cabins, 21 restaurants, eleven swimming pools, two kids’ clubs and a casino… This liner built in Finland shares with the other ships Costa a certain gigantism. But that’s about all. Jewel of technology, the Costa Tuscany is the third “clean ship” of the group, much ridiculed, like the other builders of XXL boats, for its contribution to overtourism and its impact on the environment. This partly explains its record cost of one billion euros. Its president Mario Zanetti assures today that Costa is getting closer to its objective, the “zero emission” cruise. Express portrait of this new giant of the seas not quite like the others.
MORE GREEN THAN BLUE
After AIDAnova and Costa Smeralada – its alter ego or “sister ship” -, the Costa Tuscany is the third ship in the Costa fleet to run on liquefied natural gas (or LNG), a technology that is more expensive but much greener than fuel oil. “LNG makes it possible to reduce emissions of sulfur oxide and fine particles almost completely (by 95 to 100%) and nitrogen oxide (85%). We are still working on CO² emissions but we are already seeing a 20% reduction“says Rafaelle d’Ambrosio. The ship refuels fortnightly in Barcelona, Spain.
On board, particular attention is also paid to waste management (100% recycled), waste prevention (buffets served rather than self-catering, donations to the food bank) as well as the consumption of water (autonomous boat thanks to desalinated sea water). “But sustainability is not limited to the vessel“comments Mario Zannetti, the general manager of Costa. Excursions have also been redesigned, in partnership with National Geographic, to focus on “longer stopovers, to discover hidden treasures and unclog the busiest places”, as described by the France director of Costa.
A TRIBUTE TO ITALIAN DESIGN
the Costa Tuscany may well be the most elegant vessel in the Costa fleet. As its name suggests, the liner is a tribute to the landscapes of central Italy, to its gastronomy but also to its creators. The architect Adam D. Tihany, who has collaborated with major hotel chains such as Four Seasons, Westin or Mandarin Oriental, was responsible for its design. Big names in Italian design such as Kartell, Alessi or Poltrona Frau were invited for the interior decoration. Some of their pieces, chairs or sofas, even punctuate the ship. The Mediterranean is also found in its colors – azure blue, lemon yellow, coral – and in its curved shapes. Very good mention for the pretty Kartell boudoir-style bar and the delightfully 1950s “gelateria”. Very successful too, the cabins are bright and equipped with real showers… Italian style.
THREE GREAT CHEFS AT THE COOKS
the Costa Tuscany has no less than 21 restaurants, from the traditional buffet to the trattoria, via the sushi bar and the teppanyaki. The ship’s gastronomic restaurant, L’Archipelago, takes up an original concept inaugurated on the Costa Smeralda. The passenger can choose between three five-course menus concocted by the Frenchwoman Hélène Darroze, the Spaniard Ángel León and the Italian (one was needed!) Bruno Barbieri. On the menu ? Passion for the terroir for one, mastery and classicism for the second, audacity and experimentation for the third. We opted for the one from the Spanish chef, a real declaration of love for the sea that mixes sea urchin, squid, cuttlefish and even plankton. Watch out, it sucks!
IN IMAGES, IN PICTURES
Guided tour of Costa Toscana
Costa requires its passengers to have a vaccination certificate and an antigen test to be carried out 48 hours before boarding. A second test is carried out when boarding the boat (waiting time to be expected).
From €900 including tax per week per person, for the period April / May 2022 in a balcony cabin and at an “All Inclusive” rate (with drinks). Cancellation possible free of charge up to 15 days before departure.
More information: costacroisieres.fr