|Italy's largest cruise line is continuing its rapid growth. Costa Cruises has announced the order of two more new ships -- one to be delivered in 2011, the other in 2012. The 114,200-ton, 3,012-passenger vessels will be sister ships to Costa Concordia, Costa Serena and Costa Pacifica (launching in the summer of 2009), and will be constructed at shipbuilder Fincantieri's Marghera shipyard. Currently, Costa has two additional ships on order beyond the Pacifica; the 92,700-ton, 2,600-passenger Costa Luminosa and an as-yet-unnamed sister ship will launch in 2009 and 2010, respectively.|
At this early stage, the new orders' names and itineraries have not yet been determined. However, Costa has already trickled out a few tidbits, such as:
Concordia-class trademarks will be back, including the 23,000-square-ft. Samsara Spa (and spa-dedicated cabins), Grand Prix race car driving simulator and giant poolside movie screen.
Though we don't have specifics, Costa's press release states that both vessels will also feature "additional innovations to the spa area as well as upgrades to onboard entertainment for both adults and children and teens, among many other new and unique features."
The new ships will boast 17 more verandah cabins than the rest of the Concordia class. Overall, the ship will have six more cabins than its siblings for a total of 1,506.
The construction of the two new vessels will cost approximately 1 billion euros, or 510 million per ship (that's around $1.5 billion U.S. dollars, or $728 million per ship). In 2012, when the last of the new orders has been completed, Costa's fleet will total 17.
Stay tuned for more.
--by Melissa Baldwin, Managing Editor