Actress Penelope Cruz christens Costa Smeralda

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Capt. Paolo Benini with Costa Smeralda godmother Penelope Cruz.
Capt. Paolo Benini with Costa Smeralda godmother Penelope Cruz.

Costa Smeralda godmother Penelope Cruz named the 5,224-passenger ship in Savona, Italy. 

The Spanish actress has been featured in the line’s international advertising campaign since 2018. 

The Smeralda, which launched service in December, is among the first major cruise ships to be powered by liquefied natural gas (LNG). 

“This is the Costa of the future, providing us with new opportunities to grow the market and attract consumers who have never been on a cruise before,” said Costa president Neil Palomba in a statement.

Costa described the Smeralda as “a tribute to Italy,” with all of its furnishings, lighting, fabrics and upholstery, and accessories made in Italy. The ship also features the CoDe -- Costa Design Museum -- which it bills as the first museum on a cruise ship.  

The ship has 16 restaurants and “food experience” areas, such as the Ristorante LAB, where guests cook and learn about food sustainability. 

With its LNG propulsion system, Costa said the Smeralda is able to virtually eliminate sulfur dioxide emissions and particulate matter. Other advanced systems include desalinization plants to process seawater to meet daily water supply requirements and energy consumption reduction thanks to an intelligent energy-management system. 

“We were the first company to invest in LNG and we are currently working to develop other sustainable technologies such as battery storage, fuel cells and liquefied gas from renewable energy sources, said Michael Thamm, CEO of Costa Group and Carnival Asia.

Costa Group was the first cruise operator in the world to use a LNG propulsion system and has ordered a total of five LNG-fueled ships, with two of them, the Costa Smeralda and AIDAnova, already in service.

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