Spotlight on Costa Smeralda, Cruise and Ferry 'Cruise Ship of the Year'

Spotlight on Costa Smeralda, Cruise and Ferry Review ‘Cruise Ship of the Year’ 2020

Spotlight on Costa Smeralda, Cruise and Ferry Review 'Cruise Ship of the Year' 2020 | Cruise Ship Hospitality Expo 2020

Cruise and Ferry Review recently announced the winners of their first ever Ship of the Year Awards. Amid a worldwide health crisis, and one that has hit the cruise industry particularly hard, the awards shone some light on the hard work and groundbreaking achievements of the cruise lines. Readers from over 50 countries sent their votes in to Cruise and Ferry Review, nominating ships showcasing innovative technologies, making strides in sustainability, and displaying the best in interior and exterior design.

The winning ship in the cruise category was Costa Smeralda (click here for a full list of the finalists). Today we’ll be taking a closer look at Smeralda, shining a spotlight on the hospitality innovations on board.


Costa Smeralda offers five types of cabin – an internal cabin; external cabin; cabin with balcony; cabin with terrace; and a deluxe suite cabin. Designed with comfort and elegance in mind, the Smeralda cabins celebrate Italian style, culture, and design. The design team, headed up by Cruise Ship Interiors Barcelona conference speaker Adam D. Tihany, created each deck to represent a different Italian city – moving through Capri, Rome, Venice, Florence, and Milan, before ending with Bellagio on the seventeenth deck. Each deck features wall and carpet colours symbolic of the city, as well as art and photographs that capture the spirit of each city.


Smeralda features 16 different venues to eat in, as well as 18 locations for socializing and drinking. There are four main restaurants on board – La Colombina, Il Meneghino, Arlecchino, and Il Rugantino – as well as two buffets, five food courts, and three speciality restaurants, which include Pizzeria Pummid’oro, an Italian-style pizzeria; Teppanyaki, Japanese cuisine; and Laboratorio Del Gusto, where cruisers build their own meals. The cuisine across the ship, similarly to the styling and naming of the cabins, focuses on Italian culinary tradition. A nice touch for cruising families is the Restaurant Tutti a Tavola, a family-only restaurant with a view of the sea, included in the fee.

Spotlight on Costa Smeralda, Cruise and Ferry Review 'Cruise Ship of the Year' 2020 | Cruise Ship Hospitality Expo 2020
Pasticceria on board Costa Smeralda


One of the most obvious nods to Italian heritage is Colosseo – a Tihany-designed, three-deck rounded theatre, featuring screens on the walls and dome, displaying different stories every day. Situated around the outside of Colosseo are bars and coffee stations for cruisers to enjoy their drink of choice.

Further into the vessel is a cruise ship first, and another tribute to Italian style. Again designed by Adam Tihany, and curated by Matteo Vercelloni, Smeralda’s CoDe (Costa Design) Museum features classic Italian design, including pieces and quotes from Ettore Sottsass, Enzo Mari, and Gae Aulenti.

More classic indoor cruise entertainment on board Smeralda includes Casino Laguna, Spa and Wellness facilities in Spa Solemio, swimming pools in La Spiaggia and Piscina Settimo Cielo, and theatre in Teatro Sanremo.

On the outside decks, a calming blue, yellow, and white theme runs through the entertainment facilities. These include Passeggiata di Poppa, an upper walkway with sections of glass floor for an uninterrupted view to the bars and sea below; Piazza di Spagnia, a Colosseum-esque outdoor viewing area for a gigantic screen; the Aquapark, with multiple flumes, tubes, and whirlpools; and Settimo Cielo, and outdoor bar with views of the sea.

Cruising into the future…

As well as all of this, it’s worth mentioning that Smeralda is Costa’s greenest ship – running entirely on LNG fuel – and also it’s largest ship, at 185,010 gross tonnage, with capacity for 6554 passengers and 1646 crew.

For a full 360 degree tour of the ship click here.

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