The Last Ocean Liners

Costa Line

Federico C / Eugenio C / Enrico C


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Costa Line The expected wave of migration after World War II from Europe to South America convinced the Costa Line (Linea "C") of Italy to enter the passenger ship business. Starting with the 12,000-ton Anna C, a converted passenger and cargo liner, the Costa Line purchased additional second-hand vessels as the trade grew. The Costa family believed that offering good hospitality would bring them success. They offered friendly service by an Italian crew with plenty of good Italian cooking. By the mid-1950s the demand had increased to the point where they ordered the Federico C in 1956, their first brand new ocean liner.

Costa Line Federico C was built at the same renowned Genoa shipyard as the Italian Line ships of the 1950s with plans that were influenced by the stylish Andrea Doria and Cristoforo Colombo. The new Federico C entered service on the Italy to South America run in March 1958, but in 1966 she was reassigned to a new mid-Atlantic route from Italy to the West Indies and Florida from spring through fall, cruising from Port Everglades (Ft. Lauderdale) to the Caribbean in the winter.

Costa Line With a stellar reputation, Costa Line ordered a larger ocean liner for the booming South America trade, the sleek and beautiful Eugenio C. Influenced by several other Italian liners, especially the similar Oceanic of 1965 produced by the same shipyard, the new Costa ship entered service in 1966. She was the fastest ocean liner on the South Atlantic, at least two days faster than the Italian Line competition. Her normal schedule was from Naples to Genoa & Cannes (1 day), Barcelona (2 days), Lisbon (3 days) then southwest across the Atlantic to Rio de Janeiro (10 days), Santos (11 days), Montevideo (12 days) and Buenos Aires (13 days).

Costa Line First class passengers aboard Eugenio C had a spacious pool area, gym and tavern midship up on the Lido Deck, while the Cabin class pool and veranda bar were just below on Sun Deck aft. Most of the public rooms followed on the Lounge Deck, including the forward First class "Ambra" ballroom and "Rubino" bar lounge plus a card room and writing room. Midship were the Cabin class "Opale" lounge and separate bar, writing and card rooms. The Tourist class "Turchese" lounge and bar, veranda bar and swimming pool were aft. Each class had its own dining room on Restaurant Deck.

Costa Line In the meantime, Enrico C also entered service in 1966, formerly the French SGTM liner Provence, as a smaller consort for the Eugenio C. Along the way, Costa Line were pioneers in the cruise industry deploying their little 6,800-ton Franca C at Port Everglades for Caribbean cruises as early as 1959.

Sample minimum one-way fares from Genoa to Buenos Aires: First class $465; Tourist class $270; from Ft. Lauderdale to Naples: First class $420; Tourist class $265; All fares are per person in U.S. dollars.

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Federico C (Costa Line) 1958
Federico C Costa Line
Built: 1958 by Ansaldo SpA, Sestri Ponente, Italy Gross tons: 20416 Length: 606ft (185m) Width: 78ft (24m) Draft: 28ft (9m) Speed: 21kn Power: 30000 shp Propulsion: Steam turbines twin screw Passengers: 243 First 300 Cabin 736 Tourist End of service: Cruising only from 1972; sold 1983 as Royale then SeaBreeze; sunk enroute to layup 2000
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Eugenio C (Costa Line) 1966
Eugenio C Costa Line
Built: 1966 by Cantieri Riuniti dell'Adriatico, Monfalcone, Italy Gross tons: 30567 Length: 713ft (217m) Width: 96ft (29m) Draft: 29ft (9m) Speed: 27kn Power: 60500 shp Propulsion: Steam turbines twin screw Passengers: 178 First 356 Cabin 1102 Tourist End of service: Cruising only from 1984; sold 1996 as Edinburgh Castle then Big Red Boat II; scrapped 2005
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Enrico C (Costa Line) 1951
Enrico C Costa Line
Built: 1951 by Swan Hunter & Wigham Richardson, Newcastle, England Gross tons: 13607 Length: 580ft (177m) Width: 73ft (22m) Draft: 26ft (8m) Speed: 18kn Power: 15000 shp Propulsion: Steam turbines twin screw Passengers: 218 First 980 Tourist End of service: Cruising only from 1979; sold 1994 as Symphony; scrapped 2001
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