1989 - 1990 Forth conversion

Klick here for a detailed image of the changes
 by courtesy of ARCHIVIO STORICO of the COSTA FAMILY. c/o IL PONTE KS, Genoa, Italy
before afterwards
22.11.1989 Arrival at the S. Giorgio del Porto-yard in Genoa. Modification of the Sun Deck
25./26.01.1990 Implementation of new Diesel engines
08.04.1990 Registration in the shipping register as "Motor Vessel"
In the year 1989 the ENRICO COSTA at almost 40 years of age really was an old ship and at that time nobody believed, that again a large-scale effort would be made to bring the ship up to date. Most ships of her vintage had ended their lives at breakers in Taiwan and nowadays at the beaches of Alang in India. It sounds like a little miracle therefore that Costa Crociere SpA. decided to spend the sum of 45 million dollars for an extensive refit of the ship. But the public spaces had become rather Spartan in comparison to the rising standards, caused by many new buildings of megaliners, and had to be extended. On top of this the old steam turbines had a fuel-consumption too high to compete with modern ships any longer. Steam turbines are easy to repair, but they need too much fuel, even if they can now be fueled with heavy-fuel like Diesel engines.

Thus the ship was berthed on 22 November 1989 at the San Giorgo del Porto- shipyard in Genoa. This yard belonged to the Fincantieri Company, largest shipbuilder for cruise ships at present. In order to approach the midship engine from above and remove the turbines, the funnel was temporarily removed. But this proved more difficult, than expected, since the main gear wheels had a diameter of 5 meters and a weight of 50 tons. They had to be demolished on the spot. Altogether 1300 tons of equipment were removed from the ship. On 25 / 26 January 1990 the ENRICO COSTA got her new engines : two Vasa Diesels of 8500 HP each for the two screws. Manufacturer was Wärtsilä in Finland, today belonging to the number two in cruise ship construction, the Kvaerner trust. In the first three weeks of March the ship was equipped with new shafts in dry dock, which ended in new screws, the blades of which could be adjusted in their angle, whereby the efficiency rises or in other words: whereby you can save fuel. This resulted in a consumption of 55,9 t of fuel instead of 87 t as turbine ship. At the bow a bow thruster was installed  (to be imagined as a laterally working propeller), by which berthing manoeuvres without expensive tug assistance become possible. The new technical data were:

At the same time the interiors were changed. In particular the Riviera Lounge was enlarged by annexing the rest of the upper promenades. The remaining cabins without private facilities were eliminated. The aft dining room was replaced by cabins. The whole ship was equipped with fittings in art nouveau-style as suggested by the owner. The Italian star architects Falletti and de Jorio supervised the work. The latter transformed the STOCKHOLM (which collided with the ANDREA DORIA in 1956) into the ITALIA PRIMA in later years. The accent was set on Murano glass, plenty of woods (for safety reasons it was fireproof  imitation) and brass.
After the change the following passenger numbers were given: A change to the outward appearance was the removal of 4 aft lifeboats, which took substantial space on the aft sundeck. Instead mounting plates for automatically inflating life rafts were added. Already some time ago 2 lifeboats had been replaced by small, closed launches, which served to set the passengers ashore, when the ship lay at anchor off the coast. The upper promenades were now incorporated in the superstructure as additional lounge space. Additionally a canopy for a sun-protected outdoor-restaurant was erected on the extended upper sundeck aft.

On 8 April 1990 she was registered as MV ENRICO COSTA (for Motor Vessel) in place of the TS (for Turbine Steamer) in the shipping register.

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