Costa Launches Its Largest Vessel

| Tuesday, 05 Mar. 2013

Costa Crociere this month launched its eleventh vessel -- and its largest -- at a spectacular ceremony in the Italian port of Civitavecchi. Christened by the Czech model/actress Eva Herzigova, CostaConcordia made its debut before 1,200 invited guests with a lavish show that culminated in a dramatic fireworks display.

At its fullest capacity, the 112,000-ton Concordia can accommodate 3,780 passengers in 1,500 cabins. This makes it the largest cruise ship flying an Italian flag and the biggest European vessel in terms of passenger capacity.

European Themes The name Concordia is a tribute to the brotherhood and harmony of the peoples of Europe, where it will sail. American ship designer Joe Farcus used Europe as his inspirational theme for the interiors. Restaurants, lounges, decks, and public areas reflect the artistic and architectural styles of Europe's most beautiful cities: Prague, Lisbon, Rome, Berlin, Milan, Stockholm, Helsinki and Vienna. Since Brussels is the political capital of Europe, Farcus chose a Belgian art deco style for the ship's entrance hall where passengers board; it's also the main motif of decorations adorning staircases, corridors and elevators.

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1. Europe Atrium, 2. Europe Atrium(2), 3. Milano Restaurant 4. Budapest Piano Bar

The decks on the Costa Concordia are named for European countries-Austria, Spain, Germany, France, Portugal, Ireland, Great Britain, Italy, Greece, Belgium, Sweden, Holland, and Poland.

More than 6,000 works of art are exhibited onboard. The journey begins in the spectacular Europe Atrium, nine stories high with panoramic glass elevators. Shaped glass and bright lamps crowd the ceiling, creating a constant interplay of brilliant colors.

Bars Aplenty The ship has 13 bars, including a Cognac and Cigar Bar; together, they would cover a surface area equal to five soccer fields. The Berlin Grand Bar is the largest, with a seating capacity of 250, a huge dance floor and live music, furnished in the popular Biedermeier style of the 1800s. The popular Budapest Piano Bar has decorations and ornaments typical of the Austro-Hungarian period. The Stockholm Bar Sport has many plasma TV screens tuned to the most exciting sports events. In the London Lounge, large spherical mirrors reflect light and colors, creating an exciting atmosphere. The exclusive Dublin Bar Classico is a tribute to Irish Gothic art with wood-paneled walls, a glass ceiling with inlaid Celtic decorations, and comfortable sofas for Cognac and cigars. The Helsinki Coffee and Chocolate Bar offers the best in sweets as well as a delicious chocolate fountain.

The stunning, high-tech Athens Theatre has excellent acoustics and extends up three decks. A different show is presented every night beneath a giant chandelier consisting of more than 100 Greek masks, and each of the 1,287 seats offers a good view of the stage despite the many columns and pillars.

The Tatra Library is appointed with light wood furniture typical of the Polish City of Zapokane, a famous ski resort. AQ dozen computers are available in the Internet hallway. One of the ship's most fun-filled attractions is the Virtual World, a video game arcade.

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1. Pool, 2. Samsara Spa, 3. Stockholm Bar Sport Bar 4. Athens Theater

The ship has five restaurants. The Club Concordia (seating capacity 105), intimate and exclusively a la carte, is on the ship's highest deck; its white marble walls and colored mirrors were inspired by Holland. The Samsara Restaurant, (seating capacity 82) caters to those preferring healthy dining. The Milano (seating capacity 775) and the Roma (751) combine warmth of natural wood with intense blue lines. And the Paris Buffet, next to the Lidos for outside dining, is inspired by modern French Art.

Recreation and Entertainment Recreational facilities include three swimming pools -- two with retractable glass roofs for use in any season -- as well as five Jacuzzis and a water chute, a multi-purpose sports court, and a 170-meter outdoor jogging track. Also on deck is a giant outdoor screen equipped with a multilingual audio system that, thanks to its special luminosity, can provide video entertainment even during the day. Guests receive headphones to listen to the movies translated into their own language.

One of the newest innovations for a cruise ship is the Grand Prix Driving Simulator, where passengers can experience all the excitement of a real race track.

For late-night partying there is the beautiful Lisbon Discotheque, where iridescent video walls create psychedelic effects, with a state-of-the-art sound system.

The sparkling Barcelona Casino is a tribute to Spain's famous architect, Antonio Gaudi; the walls and ceiling are decorated with hundreds of irregular ceramic tiles, and tables are covered in brightly colored mosaics.

The Samsara Spa is the largest wellness center ever built on a cruise ship. Extending over 2,104 square meters and two decks, it has a fully-equipped gym, hot tubs, rock sauna, Turkish bath, Tea Room, and a pool for thalassotherapy, Each treatment room has a balcony overlooking the Winter Garden. There is also a solarium with a sea view and UVB tanning lamps. Twelve suites have direct access to the spa.

The Galleria Shops offer a full line of resort clothing, upscale gifts and souvenirs, as well as sundries, tobacco products, and spirits.

The cost of building the Concordia was around $570 million.

For the rest of the 2006 summer season, CostaConcordia will offer seven-day Mediterranean cruises, calling at Savona, Barcelona, Palma de Mallorca, Tunis, Malta, Palermo, and Civitavecchia. Prices range from $899 per person for a 150 sq. ft. inside cabin to $2,499 per person for the 456 sq. ft. grand suite.

Concordia: 2006 Brochure Pricing (7 Day Western Med), Cabin Square Footage
Inside: $899 150 sf
Outside: $1099 191 sf
Veranda: $1299 220 sf
Mini Suite: $2289 279 sf
Suite: $2399 337 sf
Grand Suite: $2,499 456 sf
Samsara Inside: $1399 150 sf
Samsara Outside: $1,599 150 sf
Samsara Veranda: $1799 220 sf
Mini Suite: $2629 250 sf
Suite: $2879 337 sf

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