Costa Group Confirms Commitment to ItalyCosta Group – part of Carnival Corporation & plc, the world’s largest cruise company – also announces its fleet carried nearly 3 million guests in 2016, a 13 percent increase over 2015

For 2017, further growth is expected with official launch in June of AIDAperla, the new AIDA Cruises flagship, which made its first call today at Genoa.

Genoa, 30 May 2017 – The Costa Group and its parent organization Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE/LSE: CCL; NYSE: CUK), the world’s largest cruise company, today reaffirmed their joint commitment to Italy and Europe overall, announcing they will hire approximately 4,500 Italian crew members by 2022 to provide support for existing and primarily new ships currently on order. With over 5,000 Italian crew members currently employed on Carnival Corporation ships, the number of employment opportunities will almost double in number.

The Costa Group today also confirmed its leadership in Europe, announcing its fleet carried about 3 million guests in 2016, an increase of 13 percent from 2015. In addition, it expects a further increase in 2017, with the launch of AIDAperla, the new flagship of AIDA Cruises, which arrived in Genoa today for the first time. AIDAperla will be deployed in the Mediterranean, calling at Civitavecchia/Rome and Livorno every week, with a total of 60 stopovers in Italy during 2017.

The Costa Group — which includes the Italian brand Costa Cruises, the German brand AIDA Cruises and Costa Asia — has 76,000 berths on its 27 vessels, the largest fleet of cruise ships flying the Italian flag. With Genoa serving as Costa’s headquarters, Italy is the country that benefits most from Costa Group’s business.

“Carnival Corporation is one of the biggest foreign investors in Italy, which is a strategic country for our growth,” said Arnold Donald, CEO of Carnival Corporation, which includes 10 global cruise line brands that carry nearly 12 million guests a year. “Since 1990 we have built 68 ships in Italian shipyards for various brands in our group of 10 world-leading cruise lines, and another 10 vessels are currently on order or under construction, for a total investment of about 32 billion euros.” 

The impact generated from Carnival Corporation’s global fleet is widely positive on many fronts, first and foremost with the direct hiring of new crew members. Costa Group and Carnival Corporation are one of the main employers of Italian sailors and make a significant contribution to the Italian economy through partnerships with local suppliers. In 2016 the total spend coming from Carnival Corporation in Italy was about 2 billion euros.

Given the great demand for Italian crew members that the new ships will create, Costa Group and Carnival Corporation are looking into working with one or more of Italy’s nautical institutes. This is a formula that has already been a success with the Italian Merchant Marine Academy, both for deck and engine staff and the hotel side, with the recent opening of the Academy for Italian Cruise Hospitality in Arenzano.

Costa Group’s business has other positive effects on Italy’s economy. In 2016 the Costa Group’s ships made 1,000 calls in Italian ports, equivalent to passenger traffic of approximately 2.6 million passengers, representing more than half of the nearly 4 million passengers carried by Carnival Corporation ships in Italy. Added to this figure is the contribution the Costa Group makes to the Italian airport system, moving approximately 250,000 passengers through Italian airports with the “fly + cruise” package.