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The first steel was cut earlier at the Meyer Turku shipyard in Finland for the Costa Toscana.
The ship is the second of two new sister ships ordered by Costa Cruises, the Italian brand of Carnival Corporation.
The first, Costa Smeralda, is nearing completion with the finishing touches being put to the interior fit-out at the same yard in Turku prior to her entry into service in October this year.
Meanwhile the Costa Toscana is expected to be delivered in 2021.
Carnival argues the introduction of LNG fuelling is a ground-breaking innovation that will minimise environmental impact.
It will mean improved air quality with the virtual total elimination of sulphur dioxide emissions (zero emissions) and particulate matter (95-100 per cent reduction).
The use of LNG will also greatly lessen emissions of nitrogen oxides (85 per cent direct reduction) and CO2 (reduction of up to 20 per cent).
The gas will be stored in special tanks on board and will be used to generate the energy required for navigation and onboard services, thanks to dual-fuel hybrid engines.
With gross tonnage of over 180,000 and more than 2,600 staterooms on each, Costa Smeralda and Costa Toscana are part of the Costa Group’s (which includes the company’s Costa Cruises and AIDA Cruises brands) fleet expansion plan, with seven new ships scheduled to enter service by 2023 and an overall investment worth over €6 billion.
The first of these latest additions was the AIDAnova, delivered last December, followed by the Costa Venezia at the end of February 2019.
Costa Cruises president, Neil Palomba, said: “The steel-cutting ceremony for Costa Toscana is another step forward in our sustainable development plan.
“LNG propulsion for cruise ships is a major innovation, pioneering a new era in the use of low-carbon fuels that will significantly reduce exhaust emissions to help protect the environment without compromising on safety, in line with our top priorities.
“Once again, Costa Cruises is paving the way for the industry as a whole: in accordance with our global vision aimed at sustainable development, we were the first to invest in this technology, which is now really starting to take hold.”
He added: “However, a lot remains to be done in terms of the ready availability of gas bunkering infrastructure to ensure the seamless transition to LNG.
“Costa Toscana and her sister ship Costa Smeralda may be highly innovative products, but they will retain that inimitable Italian hospitality that has been Costa Cruises’ hallmark since the brand’s inception, conveying the exhilaration of ocean travel and providing enhanced guest experiences for repeat and first-time cruisers alike.”