Founded in 1854, the company originally operated only merchant ships. These ships carried olive oils and textiles from Sardinia to Liguria. The first passenger services didn’t start until 1947, when the founder’s three sons decided to move into the cruise sector. Later on, the company converted fully to just cruise ships and eventually they were acquired by the Carnival Corporation in 2000.
Costa Cruises is a primarily Italian-based cruise operator. Part of the larger Carnival Corporation, they operate from many Italian and West Mediterranean ports.
The company gained international attention in January, 2012 when one of
their cruise ships, Costa Concordia ran aground and capsized off the small Italian island of Giglio. The ship lay on its side for just over two years before it was eventually towed back to its homeport of Genoa, Italy and dismantled. The entire operation cost the Carnival Corporation nearly $2bn US Dollars.
Costa Cruises now have a fleet of fifteen ships, giving them a total passenger capacity of 44,199. They have additional four ships on order, however two of them are likely to go to their sister-brand Costa Asia. Their ships are well known for being extremely colourful and decorative inside. The majority carry over 1,500 pieces of artwork onboard.