1965-1966 Second conversion

© Slg. Hückstädt - DSM Fotoarchiv
by courtesy of ARCHIVIO STORICO of the COSTA FAMILY. c/o IL PONTE KS, Genoa, Italy
End of 1965 Start of conversion to a two-class-liner at Mariotti-yard, Genoa
Beginning of 1966 A fire causes a 40 day-delay of delivery 
18.05.1966 Delivery, service starts with a short cruise
After buying the ship (see next page) Costa sent it to the Mariotti yard at Genoa for another rebuilding. Her passenger accommodations should be changed to a capacity of 218 beds in the First Class and 980 in Tourist Class. (Eliseo indicates 269 First Class and 996 Tourist Class). Additionally modern Italian decor as on FEDERICO C. should replace the meanwhile old-fashioned fittings of the public spaces. The main lounge of the First Class with its column decoration however remained untouched thereby. The First Class bar was widened and became the Alassio-Lounge now. The conversion costs were 12 million dollar, and included the installation of a modern-style cinema for common use by both classes and the complete transformation of the passenger cabins. The dining rooms on the lower deck received an upgrade. The supervision of these changes had Nino Zoncada, who had designed the interiors of all Costa ships. The modernization of the passenger accommodations however was only possible by transforming the major part of the cargo holds into passenger cabins. A fraction of the cargo holds was however still necessary in particular for the huge trunks of the emigrants. The outer appearance had been changed by the removing of the four derricks aft and the Costa colors. The now redundant aft cargo shaft gave way to an additional pool. To Tourist Class-passengers the following cabins were available: Remarkable is the complete absence of  two-bed-cabins with 2 lower beds, as it is standard on today’s cruise ships. This luxury was allowed only in the First Class. The First Class, as usual at that time, was situated on upper decks in the ship’s superstructure. The separate lounges for First Class and Tourist Class remained. Each class had 3 lounges to their disposal, the grand hall however (today it is called the "Show Lounge") was accessible to both classes. Additionally there was a kindergarten for children. Religious services obviously took place separately according to classes, as there existed an altar in the lounge of the First Class and a Chapel on a lower deck. The lower promenades and the forward part of the broader, upper promenades were reserved for First Class passengers.

The conversion should be completed after four month, but a fire broke out . This would have caused a delay of 40 days, but in order to keep the delivery date, extraordinary efforts were made including 200 workers, who were embarked on the first cruise after the conversion, to do the remaining works. So this cruise through the Mediterranean could start in time on 18 May 1966. The measurement of the ship dropped despite several extensions made during the conversion, probably because a temporary use for cruises was planned. Cruises involve long stops in harbours, implying high harbour-dues. These are charged according to the measurement of the ship (as are channel passage fees!). By a low measurement, the shipping company therefore can save substantial sums.  These manipulations were usual by then.

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