Our History


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  • 1948 – 1968 Where everything starts..

    1948 – 1968
    Where everything starts…

    On March 31st 1948, anyone looking from the shore of Genoa would have seen the blue “C” on the yellow funnel of the “Anna C.”, the Costa family’s first transatlantic liner, as it left port. Seventy years have passed since this first voyage from Genoa to Buenos Aires…a new way of exploring the world by sea – cruising Italian style!

    In the early 50s, the “Linea C” had already become a symbol of relaxed holidays, signing the first step of our innovative and pioneering spirit.

    In 1959, the “Franca C.” was the first ship in the world exclusively devoted to cruises, operating in the United States and the Caribbean.

    In the 60s we could claim to be the Europe’s largest cruise company, second in size only to the Soviet Union fleet. Ours are ships of peace, carrying people from many nations who share the unique joy of exploring the world by sea.

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  • 1968 – 1988 The biggest cruise company in the world

    1968 – 1988
    The biggest cruise company in the world

    In 1968 we launched the fly-cruise concept, making it possible for the first time to take a short cruise on the other side of the world.

    To please our most loyal clients, we created the wintertime World Cruise, departing from Genoa in December and returning in March: an innovation, which later becomes a tradition, of voyage for our Guests, changing and enriching their lives forever.

    In the 70s our routes, our ships, and our Italian hospitality were ready to create a new holiday concept.
    We became the largest cruise company in the West.

    The logo, which had already been evolving for some time, changed further in this period, adding a yellow stripe and, for the first time, the word “crociere”. By 1986 we were ready to take the leap from being Costa Armatori to becoming the limited company Costa Crociere.

    Our family business, managed by 150 relatives, became a holding company with the Costa family as majority shareholder.

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  • 1988 – 2008
    All onboard for fun!

    In 1993, we were the first tour operator in Italy to launch a TV spot campaign, with our slogan “Navighiamo per divertirvi”! We run some memorable advertising campaigns in Europe and the US to attract younger clients.

    Innovation has always been a priority for us. The true stars of our evolution were the new generation ships of the 90s, designed with distinctive beauty and technological innovation. In order to continue growing while maintaining our Italian identity, we seized the opportunity to join Carnival Corporation, a global leader in the sector.

    Ten more new ships joined the fleet in 12 years offering enchanted Italian locations, the glories of the Italian sixteenth and seventeenth century, classical mythology…and, for the first time, a health and wellness spa overlooking the sea.

    We greeted the new millenium offering the first ships with Balcony. In 2003 the Palacrociere cruise terminal in Savona was commissioned – followed by the Palacruceros in Barcelona, and on 17 July 2007 we set a historical European record: one million guests in just one year!

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  • 2008 – nowadays
    A course towards innovative future

    In 2009 we entered the Guinness Book of Records with the launching of two ships in Genoa: it was the first time that a shipowner had launched two ships on the same day in the same port.

    With the fleet continuing to grow, we turned our attention to improving facilities for onboard colleagues training, especially focusing on personal development and growth, as we believe that people are our most precious asset.

    In this time of great global change, bringing sustainability onboard has allowed us to adopt responsible working practices and initiate unique projects of historical importance.

    In 2014 the Costa Crociere Foundation was set up with the aim of supporting programmes with the most influential and innovative non- profit organisations, assisting them to make a positive, concrete and lasting impact in Italy and abroad.

    The Costa Group, which includes our sisters AIDA and Costa Asia, is now a global company with a strong and precise identity, firmly set on a course towards an innovative future, conscious of always being able to count on the experience coming from a glorious history.

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