VENICE - Cruise operator Costa Crociere took delivery of a new flagship liner on Saturday, hoping the glamor of Italy's biggest ship will mark a new era for a company whose reputation was marred by the deadly Concordia disaster.
The 114,500-ton Costa Fascinosa, built by state-owned shipyard Fincantieri, has space for 3,500 passengers. An even bigger vessel, with 5,000 berths, should be ready in 2014 for a company that says bookings have recovered from the crisis.
"We can't ignore the January accident. It hit us hard. We are working on safety issues," Costa CEO and Chairman Pier Luigi Foschi told reporters in a spacious bar onboard the Fascinosa with a view over Venice's lagoon.
In January, the Costa Concordia hit a reef near the island of Giglio off the Tuscan coast, capsizing and killing at least 30 people in an accident investigators say was caused when its captain Francesco Schettino took the ship too close to shore.