The 1969-built COSTA ALLEGRA was listed as sold to Turkish scrappers in mid September and is currently at Genoa’s San Giorgio del Porto Shipyard undergoing preparation for her final journey to Aliaga, a town and a district of Izmir Province in the Aegean Region of Turkey about 50 km (31 mi). north of Izmir.
UPDATE: DasRudderhaus reports that the former COSTA ALLEGRA arrived at Aliaga, Turkey for scrapping under the name SANTA CRUISE on Wednesday, October 24, 2012.
COSTA ALLEGRA was built in 1969 by the Wärtsilä Shipyard in Turku, Finland as the container ship ANNIE JOHNSON for Sweden’s Johnson Line. Regency Cruises bought the ANNIE JOHNSON in 1986 to rebuild her into a cruise ship and renamed her REGENT MOON but the vessel was laid up in Perama, Greece and next sold to Compania Naviera Panalexandra and renamed ALEXANDRA. She remained in lay up until 1990, when Costa Crociere bought and completely rebuilt the ship into a cruise vessel at the T. Mariotti shipyard in Genoa, Italy. COSTA ALLEGRA entered service in 1992 for Costa. In 2010, she was operated under Costa’s French cruise brand Croisieres Paquet and marketed as ALLEGRA until making headlines for a well publicized fire.
In late Feb 2012, the ship was cruising toward the port of Victoria (Mahè, Seychelles) when a small generator fire cut power. The COSTA ALLEGRA went adrift with 636 passengers and 413 crew members on board until an ocean-going fishing trawler arrived on the scene, taking the cruise ship in tow. Two tugs were also eventually dispatched. Concern over Somali pirates known to operate in the same area were somewhat calmed by the presence on board of nine members of the Italian navy’s anti-pirate unit. COSTA ALLEGRA was finally taken to Port Victoria, with all passengers and crew safe before heading to Genoa for assessment and possible repairs.
MARTIN COX - Founder and publisher of MaritimeMatters, inspired by maritime culture and technology growing up in the port of Southampton. He works as a photographer in Los Angeles, and his works has been exhibited in LA, San Francisco, New York, London and Iceland. Martin is the co-writer of the book “Hollywood to Honolulu; the story of the Los Angeles Steamship Company” published by the Steam Ship Historical Society of America. The Los Angeles Maritime Museum has commissioned artworks and collected his photographs.