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Costa Smeralda Review

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Costa Smeralda (the name means Emerald in Italian and the ship is named after Sardinia's popular tourist coast), will be the Carnival Corp.-owned brand's first LNG (liquefied natural gas)-powered ship.

The 6,518-passenger (at maximum capacity) ship is currently being built in the Meyer Turku shipyard in Finland and will launch in October 2019. A sister ship will be delivered by Meyer Turku in 2021. 

Costa Smerelda will weigh in at 182,700 gross tons and will have 2,612 cabins. It is one of seven new LNG-powered ships ordered by Carnival Corp. -- the first will be German-based brand AIDAnova which launches in fall 2018. U.K. line P&O Cruises also has a LNG-powered ship on order, which will launch in 2020.

LNG is the world’s cleanest burning fossil fuel. It will be stored in special tanks onboard the ship and will be used to generate 100 percent of the energy required for navigation and onboard services, thanks to dual-fuel hybrid engines. The use of LNG is a major innovation in terms of environmental impact, as it will significantly reduce exhaust gas emissions, in particular sulphur, nitrogen, carbon dioxide and particulate matter. 

Costa hasn't released many details on what to expect onboard Smeralda, but the line has revealed that the cabins will be designed by Milan-based architectural studio Dordoni Architetti. The firm is one of four commissioned to design the ship, and the overall design will be led by Adam D. Tihany, who has worked on numerous ships including Celebrity's Solstice class and Seabourn Encore and Ovation.

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The designs will be based on Italian cities with each deck represented by a well-known destination. Cabins will feature a photographic panel with an embedded television depicting an Italian city view. Bathroom walls will be cladded to look like marble and a full height window in the shower will be designed to create the feel of more space and improve lighting. All the cabin furniture will be custom made by leading Italian furniture manufacturers.

Costa Smeralda will sail in the Western Mediterranean, with itineraries on sale in early 2018.  

The two LNG Costa ships -- as well as two new ships for AIDA Cruises -- are part of a multibillion dollar contract signed with the two Meyer shipyards in Turku (Finland) and Papenburg (Germany). 

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