1972 - 1989  Career as a popular cruise ship

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ENRICO C. before 1987
by courtesy of ARCHIVIO STORICO of the COSTA FAMILY. c/o IL PONTE KS, Genoa, Italy
1972-1989 Summer season: Cruises in the Mediterranean, winter season: South America cruises; 2 line voyages Buenos Aires - Genua per year (mere repositioning cruises). 
1974 Parts of the German movie "Der letzte Schrei" are shot on the ship
1979 Conversion (see previous page)
The ENRICO C. now entered her third period of life as fulltime Costa cruise ship. The passenger accommodations were reduced to 750 passengers, in order to give the passengers sufficient space for a recreative vacation. At this time the class-separation, which had never applied on cruises, was lifted. The ship was mainly employed in the Mediterranean now. Usually in December she sailed to South America, where cruises for the South American customer were offered until March. Then she went back again across the Atlantic Ocean to the Mediterranean. Such positioning voyages were considered as good deals for a long time, since they imply many days at sea and few port-calls, and therefore the cruiserate per day was quite low. In the South Atlantic area e.g. in the 1976er season cruises to off-the-beaten paths-destinations as Manaus deep in the jungle in the heart of Brazil at the river Amazon or the Falkland Islands were offered. Base port was Buenos Aires. In the Mediterranean there were the two classic areas "Western Mediterranean" and "Eastern Mediterranean". She served the western part e.g. in 1972 with calls at Palma, Casablanca, Tangier and Malaga; on these cruises she also catered for younger customers under 25 years in cooperation with the Italian Viva-Club). The Eastern Mediterranean (including Egypt and Israel) was on the schedule in 1978 for example. In 1974 the ship became a movie-star , when parts of the German movie „Der letzte Schrei“ (The last cry) by Robert van Ackeren (starring e.g. Barry Foster) were shot on board while berthed in Genoa. During the '70s the ENRICO C. showed up in the Caribbean, too.

After the conversion (see previous page) was completed, the ENRICO C. left port to 18 seven-day Venice-to-Greece cruises. Such cruises, with exactly the same route, require substantially less coordination expenditure (route planning, creation of an excursions program etc.) and are usually quite low-priced therefore. In 1980 she repeated these successful voyages. 1982, 1985 and 1986 the Western Mediterranean was once more on her schedule from Genoa. In these years the ENRICO C. won herself an inspired and faithful following among the cruise customers. The long years under the Costa flag can surely be regarded as a highlight of her career so far.

The ENRICO C. was registered, as it is common, at the legal seat of the shipping company, and that was Genoa in the case of Costa Armatori. In 1982 however her home port was shifted to Naples, only to be shifted to Palermo in 1986. 1987 however it received its final home port so far, this time Naples again. This was caused by the new business strategy, which in August 1986 brought forth a new subsidiary of Costa Armatori, the "Costa Crociere SpA". Their company headquarters was Naples. And so the ENRICO C. followed... In the course of this new strategy all Costa ships were renamed. The „C.“ now became " Costa ", therefore her full name was ENRICO COSTA now. Despite the new strategy her proven field of action, Mediterranean and South America cruises, remained the same. On Mediterranean cruises the customers were in the majority Italians, in addition Germans (in Germany the ship was offered by Hapag Lloyd and NUR Touristik at that time) and other Europeans were represented numerously. In the South American area, where the voyages frequently started at Rio de Janeiro, Brazilians dominated the scene, as for instance on a journey from Rio to southern Argentina and back in the year 1987.
From Rio, well-known to the ship from her old SGTM times as an intermediate stop on the route to Buenos Aires, the transatlantic trip back to Genoa and the Mediterranean regions started that year. Still her ship bell carried the inscription "Provence".

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