by Jeanne Craig | September 13, 2019

Sustainable Sailing in the Mediterranean with Costa Cruises

Costa Cruises launches new vessel, Costa Smeralda, for environmentally-conscious travelers

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diners sipping red wine on costa smeralda
Gracious Italian hospitality and dining await

Travelers are more environmentally conscious than ever and seeking ways to experience new places with minimal impact on the planet’s resources. In recent years, Costa Cruises has been doing its part to minimize its global footprint with innovative initiatives. Now, the luxury cruise line takes sustainability to a new level. 

In November, the company launches its flagship, Costa Smeralda. With a gross tonnage of more than 180,000, the passenger vessel is the first of its kind to be completely powered in port and at sea by liquified natural gas (LNG). 

“It’s the cleanest fossil fuel that can be used at sea, and a sustainability effort that can be appreciated by anyone who cares about the health of our oceans,” said Scott Knutson, vice president of sales and marketing for North America at Costa Cruise Lines. 

Costa Cruises offers eco tours, which include everything from biking in Barcelona to camel trekking in the dessert and riding horseback in Barbados.

LNG significantly reduces the emission of nitrogen oxides, sulphur, carbon dioxide and particulate matter. In addition, this transparent, odorless, non-corrosive and non-toxic liquid has a volume 600 times lower than the same amount of gas, which, according to Costa Cruises, decreases transport time. Costa Smeralda is the company’s first LNG-powered vessel; a second ship, Costa Toscana, is under construction. 

A front-to-back view of the Winter Garden suite.

Costa Smeralda will be based in the Western Mediterranean with calls in Barcelona, Marseille and Civitavecchia. While her propulsion is environmentally forward-thinking, Costa Smeralda has the hallmark feature of every ship in the company’s fleet: an authentic European atmosphere influenced by the line’s Italian heritage. 

With a name inspired by Sardinia’s Emerald Coast, the ship features 11 restaurants, 19 bars, a spa, waterpark, four pools and a facility for kids. There are more 2,600 cabins on board, each designed by the Milan-based studio Dordoni Architetti. This ship debuts a new category of rooms that feature a covered terrace over the sea. “It lets passengers feel as if they’re outside without being right on the water,” says Knutson.

4GoodFood program delivers unused food to local food banks.

Environmentally conscious travelers will also appreciate the 4GoodFood program, which applies sustainability principles to the preparation and consumption of food throughout the fleet. “It’s been wildly popular,” says Knutson. “On Costa Smeralda, we’ll make an even bigger impact.” Employees are trained to cook responsibly and guests are encouraged to taste, not waste. The program also creates partnerships with local food banks, which deliver unused food to communities in need. 

And there’s more good news for travelers who want to see the world and preserve the earth’s well-being. Rather than traditional excursions that rely on buses for transportation Costa Cruises offers eco tours, which include everything from biking in Barcelona to camel trekking in the dessert and riding horseback in Barbados. Says Knutson, “They’re ideal for those with an explorer mindset.”


Visit Costa Cruises to learn more about Costa Smeralda.

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