costa allegra cruise ship review & photos - costa cruises

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Costa Allegra cruise ship review & photos

The saying "Never judge a book by its cover" couldn't be more appropriate for Costa Allegra, one of two smaller units in the growing fleet of Costa Crociere. Originally constructed as a container vessel, Costa Allegra was completely reconstructed in 1992 in Italy and emerged as a contemporary cruise ship that soon attracted a loyal following. Externally, she and her near-sister Costa Marina have retained the ungainly, boxy look of their container past. But inside, the designers have successfully managed to create a modern and inviting shipboard environment with a hint of Italian "dolce vita".

The fully cellular container vessel Annie Johnson entered service for Swedish Johnson Line in 1969. Built by the renowned Wärtsilä yard in Turku, Finland, the vessel carried containers across the Seven Seas for more than 15 years before being sold to Regency Cruises in Piraeus, Greece. Plans to convert her into a cruise vessel fell through and the vessel was eventually sold to Italian operator Costa Crociere in 1990. Over the cause of two years, the Mariotti yard in Genoa transformed Annie Johnson into Costa Allegra. With a new set of engines, a new 44 ft (13.4 m) midsection, a completely new superstructure and a new lease of life, Costa Allegra could as well be called a new ship when she re-entered service in November of 1992.

Despite being one of Costa's smallest units in a fleet that includes a few ships of over 100,000 gross tons, 28,430 ton Costa Allegra has always been a very popular ship. In all honesty, I often wondered why as she will not win any beauty contest with her boxy appearance and stark upright yellow-and-white funnel. So I jumped at the chance of visiting the ship in Amsterdam in 2004 to see what she has to offer her guests. And I liked what I saw! Rebuilding the vessel from scratch, the design team has had the chance to be creative with space, resulting in highly original interior spaces with a distinct Italian influence.

Cruise Line: Costa Crociere
Year built: 1969 as container vessel Annie Johnson
Rebuilt: 1992
Building Yard: Wärtsilä, Finland; rebuilt by T Mariotti, Genoa, Italy
Gross Tonnage: 28,430
Length: 187.7 m (616.1 ft)
Beam: 25.8 m (83.9 ft)
Passengers (norm.): 810
Passengers (max): 1,066
Crew: 420
Service speed: 20.0 knots

Ship Parade's in-depth look at Costa Allegra's interiors starts on the next page. Welcome on board!

Costa Allegra
Costa Allegra
Costa Allegra
Costa Allegra

 

All photos and text: © 2004-2005 Bart de Boer - www.ShipParade.com

First published on May 29, 2005

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