She will join the ship’s Capt. Pietro Sinisi for the ribbon-cutting to release the Champagne against the hull.
Costa is strengthening its collaboration with Spanish chef Ángel León – responsible for the event’s gala dinner – supporting his Aponiente restaurant research center in encouraging biodiversity and utilising sustainable methods to generate food.
Said Mario Zanetti, president, Costa Cruises, ‘It is a great thrill to celebrate the christening of our Costa Toscana in Barcelona, a city to which we are particularly attached and where we have been at home since the beginning of our history.
‘For this occasion, we have organized an event to celebrate the start of a summer that marks the serene resumption of travel and vacations…’
Predictions on cruising
Zanetti took the opportunity to highlight findings from a study by Human Highway commissioned by the cruise line covering Italy, Spain, France, Germany, Switzerland and Austria. ‘According to recent market research, nearly 14 million Europeans are dreaming of taking a cruise in the next 12 months and cruises are among the trips with the highest potential to meet the needs of destinations’ exploration.
‘We must take advantage of this upswing to promote a more sustainable tourism that respects the environment and values local communities. Our commitment is expressed not only through technologically advanced ships such as the LNG-powered Costa Toscana, but also by supporting innovative projects whose scope goes beyond the tourism sector, such as chef Ángel León’s project.’
The event, hosted by stars of Spanish television Carlos Sobera and Flora Gonzalez, will finish with a performance by Italian electric violinist Andrea Casta. The party will then move to the outer decks, specifically at the aft of the ship on the Piazza del Campo terraces, where guests will experience the ‘Molecule Show’: a spectacle featuring 300 helium-inflated spheres lifting an acrobat over a trapeze in front of Barcelona’s skyline for an ethereal effect.
Among the celebrities joining the event are Spain’s El Sevilla and Italian house music trio Meduza, who will host an exclusive DJ set onboard as Costa Toscana sails from Barcelona to Valencia.
Partnership with Ángel León
The aperitif and gala dinner will be delivered by Spanish chef Ángel León of Michelin three-star restaurant Aponiente.
Aponiente’s research center has started the cultivation of the Zostera marina – a plant that helps generate greater marine biodiversity – in the Bay of Cadiz. As well as helping to mitigate climate change by absorbing and storing large amounts of carbon, it can produce from its seeds a food abundant in nutritional properties. Costa Cruises Foundation’s support has meant the cultivated area of the ocean garden, which is 3,000 m2, can be expanded to promote the project and export Zostera marina to new coastal areas.
In addition, for every dinner sampled at onboard restaurant Archipelago, Costa Cruises will donate part of the proceeds to support Costa Foundation’s environmental and social projects.
Costa Toscana’s interiors, the outcome of a project curated by Adam D. Tihany, enhance the colors and atmosphere of the region after which it is named: Tuscany. Furniture, lighting, fabrics and accessories are created by 15 Italian designers.
The sea wood that furnishes the islands of the Archipelago restaurant was recovered from the sea through Costa Foundation’s Guardians of the Coast program.
Daily water needs are met through the transformation of sea water by desalinators, and energy consumption is minimised through an intelligent energy efficiency system. 100% of separated collection and recycling of materials such as plastic, paper, glass and aluminum are carried out onboard.
The vessel houses 21 restaurants, and the new Archipelago offers menus created for Costa by León plus chefs Bruno Barbieri and Hélène Darroze conceived to explore cruise destinations through taste.
Solemio Spa, Squok Club and Splash AcquaPark, with its slide positioned on the highest deck, also feature in addition to a new area dedicated to video games. Thematic bars, made collaboration with great Italian and international brands, and entertainment spaces can also be found onboard.
Ten Costa Cruises ships will sail this season including Costa Toscana, which will operate a weeklong Western Mediterranean itinerary including Savona, Civitavecchia (Rome) and Naples in Italy, Ibiza and Valencia in Spain and Marseille in France.
In autumn, Ibiza will be replaced by Palma de Mallorca.