The Costa Concordia, a 114,500-ton cruise ship sailing the Mediterranean, suffered the cruise industry’s worst accident in recent years when the vessel crashed into rocks near the small island of Giglio, off the coast of Italy.
The five-year-old Concordia, carrying more than 3,200 passengers and 1,000 crewmembers, had embarked from Civitavecchia, the port for Rome, only a few hours earlier on the evening of January 13, 2012. Passengers noted there was no lifeboat drill conducted after the ship’s departure and complained that the crew did not provide instructions on how to evacuate. Heavy listing meant many of lifeboats could not be released, and several passengers and crewmembers were killed during the incident.
Although Costa Cruises—owned by Miami-based Carnival Corporation—caters primarily to the European market, the accident is rocking the cruise industry. Cruise experts were bracing for a downturn in bookings in the middle of Wave Season, the three-month period when many cruises are booked for the coming year.
Stay abreast of the incident by checking Gene Sloan’s Cruise Log at USA Today.