Costa Cruises has announced it will be pulling Costa Toscana out of the South American market for the coming 2022/23 winter cruise season and replacing her with Costa Firenze instead.
The re-deployment of the ships means that Costa Firenze will no longer be available to sail her previously scheduled winter cruise season in Dubai.
Costa Cruises has not confirmed whether Costa Toscana will be sent to the Middle East in Costa Firenze’s place, although this makes the most sense in the current environment. Cruise Arabia & Africa has reached out to Costa Cruises for confirmation.
Costa Cruises cited current global geopolitical developments and the impact they have had on LNG availability and prices in their decision to pull Costa Toscana out of the Brazilian market.
Costa Toscana is the cruise line’s latest Excellence-class cruise ship, a sister ship to Costa Smeralda, both of which run on liquified natural gas (LNG).
The price of LNG has increased significantly in the last few weeks since Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24th, creating a global energy crisis that has also impacted the cost of oil.
Costa Firenze will take over the program previously announced for Costa Toscana in Brazil, as she runs on general marine oil rather than LNG.
The company said that the LNG needed for the Toscana “could only be sourced through international operations.”
Costa’s 2022/23 program in South America also includes Costa Favolosa and Costa Fortuna, both of which also run on normal marine oil.
Although Costa Cruises have not confirmed whether Costa Toscana will be sent to Dubai instead, such a deployment would see her join AIDAcosma, a sister ship sailing for fellow Carnival-owned AIDA Cruises.
AIDAcosma is also LNG-fuelled, while MSC Cruises are homeporting their new LNG-powered World Europa in Dubai for the coming 2022/23 cruise season.
Costa Cruises may also decide to keep the ship in the European market, making use of ports such as Rotterdam, which is the largest LNG bunkering port in the world, and would have the greatest LNG availability during the current energy market conditions.
The Middle East’s LNG bunkering infrastructure is being rapidly expanded in anticipation of greater use of the gas as a marine fuel, which is partly why so many cruise lines are homeporting their new LNG-fuelled vessels in the region.