Concordia 'temple of fun' to ship of doom
16 January 2012, 09:43
Milan - The Costa Concordia luxury cruise liner, which ran aground
off the coast of Italy on Friday, was described by its owners as a
floating "temple of fun" dedicated to entertainment and well-being.
the similarly ill-fated Titanic, the 17-deck Concordia had its own
superlatives: at the time the largest liner ever built in Italy and the
flagship of the fleet operated by Costa, Europe's largest cruise
But it was also regarded as a cursed ship by
superstitious Italian sailors, after the champagne bottle failed to
smash when it was thrown against the hull for its christening ceremony.
The accident, which occurred on the inauspicious date of Friday the 13th, was not the first involving the Concordia.
November 2008, as it was entering port in the Sicilian city of Palermo
it was hit by large waves, causing damage to its bow, although no
casualties were reported.
"Imposing and majestic, Costa Concordia
is one of the biggest ships in the Costa fleet, a real floating temple
of fun that will amaze you," the company says on its website.
"futuristic" liner, which stretches the length of three football
pitches, was on a seven-day cruise in the Mediterranean when it ran
aground off the Tuscan island of Giglio with more than 4 200 people on
The Concordia boasted 1 500 cabins, five restaurants, 13
bars, as well as a giant screen cinema, theatre, casino and disco,
library, shopping centre and even a Formula One grand prix simulator,
according to the Costa website.
well as the array of entertainment facilities, the vessel also had 6
000m² across two decks devoted to health, well being and sport. Its
facilities included five jacuzzis, four pools, a fully-equipped spa, a
multi-sports field, a jogging track and fitness centre.
was built in a Genoa shipyard and launched in 2006 as a veritable
floating city, with a capacity for over 3 700 passengers as well as a 1
The 114 500 ton vessel measured 290m in length
and had a maximum speed of just over 23 knots and a cruising speed of
21.5 knots, giving it a range of 10 to 14 days, it said.
also had webcams installed allowing people to track its route on the
internet, but the last update on its website stated briefly "Data
transmission is temporarily suspended".
The Genoa-based Costa is the biggest cruise operator in Europe, with a turnover of €2.9bn in 2010, according to its website.