Costa Smeralda and Costa Toscana cruise ships - Helsinki (Finland)

The sartorial spirit of cruise ships

Built between 2019 and 2021, the Costa Smeralda and Costa Toscana cruise ships from the Costa Crociere fleet feature custom-designed porcelain stoneware tiles on their dining room floors
Roberta Chionne

Cruise ship interiors are designed to host a vast array of amenities and attractions while providing comfort, safety and a sense of reassuring familiarity. One of the most important spaces in these floating cities are the dining areas, truly iconic locations akin to large halls or plazas that require custom designs and tailor-made solutions. In the case of the Costa Smeralda and Costa Toscana cruise ships, the historic Finnish tile distributor ABL-Laatat contacted CaesarTech Solutions, the in-house technical division of Caesar Ceramiche specialising in tailor-made installations.
Although marble had initially been chosen as the flooring material for the Piazza dei Sapori on deck 8 of the Costa Smeralda due to its exceptional aesthetic qualities, the material’s inferior technical characteristics and high weight were felt to outweigh its benefits. The team from Caesar together with the engineers and designers realised that porcelain stoneware has the necessary flexibility to reproduce the aesthetic qualities of marble and to achieve the required curved geometry with a thickness of just 9 mm, thereby reducing the total weight of the shipped material. This observation proved a crucial factor in the choice of material, together with the qualities that already make porcelain the ideal surface covering material for public spaces, namely strength, durability, ease of installation and cleaning, as well as its resistance to foot traffic, chemicals and salt. Caesar produced around 2,800 curved pieces in over 400 unique shapes, but its involvement went well beyond the production stage. The project was researched and carefully supervised at every stage, from cutting the pieces to size through to packaging and installation. After waterjet cutting, all the pieces were numbered and each of them was assigned a specific position in the floor layout. The chosen collection was Anima, a marble-effect surface that stands out for its wide range of colours, specifically the colour Bianco Arabesco contrasting with the bolder Dark Emperador. Following the success of this solution, the Costa Crociere design staff renewed its collaboration with Caesar and ABL in 2021 for the Piazza dei Sapori on the twin ship Costa Toscana, which pays tribute to the unique atmospheres and materials of Dante’s region Tuscany. The design of this lounge stands out for its coloured three-dimensional texture enclosed by a series of concentric circles in two different colours, made from more than 1,700 unique pieces with curved sides in two colours and more than 1,000 rhomboidal pieces in three colours. Here too, the Anima collection plays a key role, this time chosen in the colours Statuario Venato and Graphite grey, combined with the bright Copper surface from the Alchemy collection, which explores the multiple finishes and colour variations of metals.

Dark Emperador; Alchemy Copper

Bianco Arabesco , Graphite

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