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Post-Shipwreck, Italian Cruise Line Launches New Vessel


The $670-million Costa Fascinosa cruise ship, that with a capacity of 3,800 passengers is now the largest Italian-flagged cruise ship, is seen on the occasion of its unveiling in Venice, Italy, May 5, 2012.

The $670-million Costa Fascinosa cruise ship, that with a capacity of 3,800 passengers is now the largest Italian-flagged cruise ship, is seen on the occasion of its unveiling in Venice, Italy, May 5, 2012.

The Italian cruise line that suffered a deadly shipwreck earlier this year unveiled a new luxury cruise ship Saturday in Venice, along with new safety measures.

Costa Crociere's new nearly $670-million vessel, the Costa Fascinosa, will now be the largest cruise ship flying the Italian flag.

The launch of the more than 114,000-ton cruise ship comes nearly four months after the Costa Concordia ran aground off the Tuscan island of Giglio, killing 32 people. The ship, carrying 4,200 passengers and crew, capsized when its captain deviated from his planned route and struck a reef.

Costa chairman and retiring chief executive Pier Luigi Foschi said Saturday that such an incident should not have happened and will not happen again. He said the company, owned by the Florida-based Carnival Corporation, is fully accountable to the Italian authorities.

The cruise line is also introducing a number of new safety measures, including new procedures for providing emergency training for passengers and a real-time monitoring system to allow the company to follow the routes of all its ships.

The captain of the Costa Concordia, Francesco Schettino, remains under house arrest, accused of manslaughter and abandoning ship.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

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