DECEMBER 11, 2012 — Fincantieri's Marghera, Italy, shipyard yesterday started the building dock phase of construction of Costa Diadema, the future Costa Cruises flagship. With a gross tonnage 132,500 and accommodations for a total of 4,947 passengers, it will be the biggest Italian-flagged cruise ship afloat.
Yesterday, the shipyard held a ceremony at which the first building block of the ship – weighing approximately 504 tonnes, measuring 15.7 meters in breadth by 29 meters in length and forming the central part of the ship – was lifted by a crane and laid on the bottom of the dock.
"The construction of the Costa Diadema is a tangible commitment to the future growth of our company," said Mr. Thamm. "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 with the creation of wealth and employment for the country as a whole."
Mr Bono said: "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. Total global investments have been little more than a quarter of those in 2007, resulting in a halving of the number of cruise ship orders. We've done our part, by securing almost all of these orders and confirming the dual challenge we set ourselves: on the one hand, to focus on sectors that offer good opportunities for development, and on the other, to maintain our leadership in our traditional sectors. 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."
The Costa Diadema project will employ a total of approximately 1,000 shipyard workers plus another 2,500 employees of allied industries. Carnival Corporation subsidiary Costa has invested a total of around 550 million euros in the new flagship.