The first block of the hull was laid today at Fincantieri’s Marghera, Italy, shipyard forming the central part of Costa Diadema, the future flagship of Costa Cruises. Diadema in Italian means “tiara” and the name was selected for the new ship that will serve as the crown jewel and flagship of the Costa Cruises fleet.
Today’s ceremony was attended by Costa Crociere S.p.A. Chief Executive Officer Michael Thamm and President Gianni Onorato, with Fincantieri represented by its Chief Executive Officer Giuseppe Bono.
During the ceremony, the block — weighing approximately 496 tons, measuring 51.5 feet wide by 95 feet long — was lifted by a crane and laid in the dry dock where the ship will be built.
Construction and fitting out will continue until Oct. 30, 2014, the scheduled date of delivery. Construction of Costa Diadema will employ approximately 1,000 shipyard workers plus another 2,500 employees of allied industries. About 400 contracted suppliers, most of which are Italian firms, will be involved in the project, especially regarding fitting out the ship’s interiors.
“The construction of the Costa Diadema is a tangible commitment to the future growth of our company,” said Michael Thamm, CEO of Costa Crociere S.p.A. “It is significant not only for us but also for Italy in general and Venice in particular. The Costa Diadema consolidates our alliance with Fincantieri, which has already resulted in the building of 10 new ships for us since 2000, worth a total of almost 5 billion euros.”
“The end of year is approaching and it’s time for us to take stock. 2012 has been an extremely difficult year, especially for shipbuilding,” said Giuseppe Bono, CEO of Fincantieri. “Today, as we start work on what will be another splendid ship for our friends at Costa, we’re looking to the future with a bit more certainty.”
Costa will invest around 550 million euros in the new flagship. Costa Diadema will be the largest cruise ship flying the Italian flag, at 132,500 gross tons, 1,004 feet long, 122 feet in the beam, carrying 4,947 total guests and 1,253 crewmembers, with 1,854 guest cabins.
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