1990 - 1994  New life as motor ship - the last period under Costa rule

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ENRICO COSTA 1990-93
 
13.05 1990 First cruise (in the Mediterranean) after conversion 
15.09.1992 The ENRICO COSTA runs aground off Katakolon (Greece)
since 1993 Change in itineraries: summer season northern Europe, winter season Canary Islands
spring 1994 Since the order for the COSTA VICTORIA was signed, the ENRICO COSTA was put up for sale
 
After trials at sea she entered cruise service again on 13.05.1990 with a voyage through the Western Mediterranean starting from Genoa. This cruise was mamorable, as she achieved an average speed of staggering 22 kn. on the way to Villefranche! In the winter 1991/2 she trod on the tracks of her own history again with cruises to Argentina, Uruguay and Brazil. In the summer of 1992 she sailed through the Eastern Mediterranean, when it came to a dramatic event, that could easily have meant the end for this vintage liner. On 15 September the motor ship ran on a reef one mile off Katakolon at the West Coast of the Greek Peloponnesus, (the port of ancient Olympia). The 579 passengers were evacuated. Fortunately no passengers were injured seriously during the manoeuvres. The ENRICO COSTA remained aground for 3 days, until she came free on her own. Again her robustness showed: she hadn't suffered serious damage by this accident.
Since then her cruise program changed: In 1993 she sailed northern European waters (Norway, UK) and the Atlantic coasts and Canary Islands cruises so popular with the passengers from the UK. The winter season 1993/4 she spent no longer in South America, but on 11-day cruises starting from Genoa to the Canary Islands and to Morocco.

On 4 - 15 April 1994 a all-German special cruise was offered to the German public, with prices starting at the modest rate of 1570, - German Marks, called in the brochure "Sahara, temples and volcanoes". She called at Tunisia, Malta, Greece, Lipari Islands and Rome. However, her time under Costa management came to an end.

Already before the last conversion the first ship of a quite new style joined the fleet of Costa Crociere: The COSTA MARINA. This ship was substantially larger than the ENRICO COSTA. But the worst is jet to come: In short intervals new and ever larger units were added: the COSTA ALLEGRA (28430 GRT), a sister ship of the COSTA MARINA, the COSTA CLASSICA and the COSTA ROMANTICA (each 53,000 GRT). All these ships now had an engine built in at the stern and the funnel had shifted towards aft. This made paved the way for arranging a spacious „pool landscape“ on the top of the ships with several pools and Whirlpools. They were characterized also by multi-storeyed atria and from the outside by strangely worked funnels consisting of a set of three clenched-together tubes. Therefore it surprises even more that Costa had spend this huge sum on the ENRICO COSTA lately. Even after the planned refit she still could not offer e.g. a panorama restaurant arranged on an upper deck (a restaurant in the hull of the ship offers substantial advantages in rough seas however!). And cabins with the now fashionable private-balcony were missing also. Last but not least most cruise ships of the second generation offer a great portion of the desired cabins on upper decks, which makes them look like rectangular swimming skyscrapers. In general it is believed since the beginning of the ´90s that only small or very large cruise ships have a chance of survival in the fierce competition on the cruise market: large ships are looked upon as having low expenses per passenger; small ones can call at ports, which large do not fit in because of their draught. As an old transatlantic liner she is, the ENRICO COSTA however has a draught of 7.52 m, thus no less than the modern megaliners. Therefore there was no future for this cozy, nostalgic ship in the Costa fleet; With the order of an even more gigantic ship, the COSTA VICTORIA (75,000 BRZ) she was put up for sale in spring of 1994.
 

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