Costa Cruises to build world’s largest passenger ships

Costa Cruises is to build two 6,600 passenger ships, making the vessels the largest in the world by capacity.

The Carnival Corporation-owned brand will launch the new ships in 2019 and 2020. The two vessels will be built at the Meyer shipyard in Turku, Finland, and will be the first ships powered by Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG).

The announcement of the new ships for Costa is a significant statement about the brand’s recovery following the Costa Concordia tragedy in 2012.

The Costa new builds will have 600 more passengers than Royal Caribbean’s Oasis class, which will remain the largest cruise ships in the world by size.

Costa’s ship order is part of parent Carnival Corporation’s multibillion dollar contract with two Meyer shipyards in Finland and Germany.

Costa Cruises to build world's largest passenger ships

Carnival’s deal with the shipyards is for a total of nine new ships between 2019 and 2022, including the two newly announced Costa ships.

Michael Thamm, chief executive of the Costa group, said: “These ships will expand the leadership position for the Costa Group, the market leader in all major continental European markets.

“The multibillion dollar contract with Meyer mirrors our strategy to constantly innovate our vacation offers and to deliver an unmatched cruise experience to our guests.”

Neil Palomba, president of Costa Cruises, said: “The two Costa ships are a real innovation for the market, setting new standards for the whole industry: they will be the first green ships powered with LNG and they will offer an extensive number of guest-friendly features.

“The order also confirms that the Costa brand will continue to grow, becoming even stronger and keep on generating a positive economic impact in the main countries where it operates, including Italy.”

The world’s largest cruise ship just hit the water in France

Harmony of the Seas

It’s 50 meters longer than the Eiffel Tower.

Royal Caribbean’s “Harmony of the Seas” — the world’s largest cruise ship — entered the water in France on Friday. It’s expected to take its maiden voyage in 2016.

The ship has been under construction since 2013, according to an Agence France-Presse report on Yahoo  YHOO -0.98% . The ship will carry 6,360 passengers along with 2,100 staff. It weighs 227,000 tons and measures 1,187 feet — that’s 50 meters longer than the height of the Eiffel Tower.

The second biggest cruise ships are also owned by Royal Caribbean  RCL 0.23%  and are named “Allure of the Seas” and “Oasis of the Seas.” Both weigh 225,000 tones.

Construction on the new Royal Caribbean ship has required over 2,5000 people.

The boat is expected to set sail in mid-February on test runs. The first voyage could take place in May and will be from the United Kingdom to Spain, according to AFP.

Allure of the Seas refurbished in drydock

Allure of the Seas in dry dock

Royal Caribbean’s Allure of the Seas, the world’s largest cruise ship, received new restaurants, suites and public spaces in its first major drydock since its debut in 2010.

New restaurants include Izumi Hibachi & Sushi, a “re-imagined” version of Royal Caribbean’s Izumi Japanese restaurant, and Sabor Taqueria & Tequila, its modern Mexican concept.

Also new is Coastal Kitchen, the restaurant reserved for suite guests on Royal Caribbean’s newer ships.

Royal Caribbean said it has added 10 new suites to Allure, with views of the aft Aqua Theater and Boardwalk neighborhood. They include two new Royal suites, six Grand suites and two Royal Family suites. Guests will have access to a new Suite Lounge and a new sun deck area both exclusive to suite passengers.

Allure also got new shops including Kate Spade New York and Michael Kors.

The ship will sail in Europe from Barcelona through November, when it will return to Fort Lauderdale.