Arnold W. Donald strolls across the Carnival Splendor’s lido deck, checking in on passengers. He cozies up, places a hand on their shoulder and asks: Are you having a blast?
He sure hopes so.
For Donald, the charismatic new CEO of Carnival Corp. (CCL), the “great camaraderie” passengers find onboard his ships matters more than fancy restaurants or countless amenities. That intangible feeling isn’t easily marketed, but is crucial as he tries to fix the world’s largest cruise operator.
It’s been a rough two years for the company. First, its Costa Concordia sank off the coast of Italy, killing 32 passengers. Then an engine-room fire on its Carnival Triumph left the ship without power. For five days, passengers lacked air conditioning, hot food and use of most toilets. Cable news was fixated, dubbing it the “poop cruise.”
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The Costa Concordia will be scrapped at the port of Genoa, Italian officials controlling the clean-up of the tragic cruise ship have announced. That leaves Piombino, near the island of Giglio where the ship hit a reef and listed over, losing out.
There were other ports, notably in China and Turkey, that bid for the contract but the port at Genoa is one of Europe’s most modern; another factor in the decision may have been that Genoa is where Costa Cruises, owner of the ship, has its headquarters located. The port of Piombino in Tuscany, only 40 miles from Giglio, was rushing to modernize in an effort to get the contract, but to no avail.
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The two-year saga of Costa Concordia’s planned removal from waters offshore from Giglio, Italy, is apparently nearing a close. Weather permitting, the ship will be transported to Genoa, Italy on July 20. It will then be scrapped.
Scrapping in Genoa?
The Italian newspaper, Il Sole 24 Ore, has reported that the decision to scrap the ship in Genoa, rather than at another yard in Turkey or elsewhere, occurred during a meeting last week at Costa Crociere’s Genoa headquarters.
Italian officials reportedly had lobbied for the scrapping to be conducted in Italy, although companies in several countries bid on the project. While some bids were cheaper than that of the Genoa bid, the lengthier water journeys needed to reach yards in other countries could also be more risky, given the fragility of the ship.
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The (re)insurers of the Costa Concordia are awaiting loss advice showing a further deterioration on a total claims burden that already stands at more than $1.6bn, after the removal of the wreck was delayed.
Underwriting sources said that they had heard nothing to date from broker Miller, but expected that an increase in the loss was only a matter of time as the cost of salvaging the cruise liner rises.
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I can confirm that… the dismantling of the ship will take place in an Italian port,” Transport Minister Maurizio Lupi said on Friday.
Several ports had been bidding to win the contract to dismantle the wrecked ship, including ports in Britain, France, Norway and Turkey.
Italy’s Il Sole 24 Ore newspaper reported that the ship would be scrapped in Genoa, though Lupi said the final decision was still to be taken on which of several possible Italian ports would get the bid.
According to Il Sole 24 Ore, the ship’s owners have chosen a consortium consisting of oil service company Saipem and Genoa-based companies Mariotti and San Giorgio.
It added that Costa Cruises, Europe’s biggest cruise operator, had decided to begin the delicate operation to re-float the vessel on July 20th.
The stricken ship would then be towed 280 kilometres (170 miles) to Genoa.
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