Costa flagship: the finest IT for “Italy’s finest”

The Costa Diadema is a gem among the world’s most stylish cruise ships. Costa Crociere’s flagship made even better by a first-class IT solution. Future-proof infrastructure and the Velimo guest portal provide smart infotainment.

The client

Since 1948, Costa has been offering its passengers a mix of Italian dolce vita, hospitality, entertainment and relaxation. In keeping with the company’s philosophy, Costa’s 19,000 employees worldwide work every day to make “Italy’s finest” cruise vacations a reality on 137 routes, at 261 destinations and 60 ports of embarkation, and on more than 2,200 landside excursions. As part of the world leader in the cruise industry, Carnival Corporation & plc, Costa is constantly on course for growth. Equipping new ships with the latest technology is a matter of course for Costa. For example, two new additions that are scheduled to join the fleet by 2022 will be powered entirely by liquefied natural gas (LNG), the cleanest fossil fuel there is. Modern and future-proof on-board IT to keep passengers entertained and informed is also of particular importance.

The challenge

By building a new flagship, Costa Crociere’s goal was to set standards in the cruise industry. The Costa Diadema, commissioned in 2011, was supposed to exceed the fleet’s already excellent level of entertainment quality, style and on-board IT. Costa was looking to go with a proven IP-based platform for digital guest services that could be operated in cabins by using smart TVs and was capable of supporting digital signage displays in other sections of the ship. An interface adapted to the company’s branding that could be operated intuitively by all users was another of Costa’s main demands. The platform was also supposed to be capable of supporting linear television, video on demand and audio streaming, as well as trip and safety information.

Lufthansa Industry Solutions had already equipped several ships operated by AIDA, Costa Cruises’ sister brand, with a similar solution. The IT specialist beat the competition in an invitation to tender and convinced Costa of its ability to offer all components for the network and application infrastructure from a single source and in top quality.

The solution

In addition to the Velimo infotainment platform, Lufthansa Industry Solutions implemented key IT infrastructure components – for the local area network and for Wi-Fi – on the Costa Diadema in the first half of 2014. Costa also decided to hire the service provider as a long-term IT partner for maintenance and support on the Costa Diadema, which set sail on its maiden voyage in November 2014.

Velimo, which was developed in-house by Lufthansa Industry Solutions, is the heart of the on-board system. The platform connects smart TVs and digital signage displays on the Costa Diadema. Travelers can use Velimo to experience a wide selection of audiovisual entertainment, from TV and video on demand to audio streaming, and find out about the current route as well as landside excursions. Velimo gives crew a fast and easy way to enter the latest trip and safety information to be shown on the connected screens. Velimo’s architecture has been constructed in such a way that it can be flexibly expanded if need be. Additional functions such as climate and lighting control in the cabin, as well as further devices such as smartphones and tablets, can be easily implemented in Velimo.

Velimo has been developed especially to meet the needs of the cruise and tourism industry. Customer-specific configurations are also available. Lufthansa Industry Solutions custom tailored the user interface to the processes on the Costa Diadema and gave it a look to match the cruise line’s corporate design.

The client benefits

Costa aims to surprise its guests time and time again to make every voyage a special one. The solution from Lufthansa Industry Solutions helps the company keep this key promise.

The innovative high-performing IT infrastructure and the innovative Velimo portal enhance the travel experience on board. It allows the company to provide cruise ship passengers on the Costa Diadema with a unique platform for guest communication.

Thanks to Velimo, the Costa Diadema now not only has a cutting-edge infotainment solution, but is also well equipped for the future. Costa can adjust its offer to fit market demands when the fast-moving technology and the sophisticated needs of cruise ship passengers evolve.

Lufthansa Industry Solutions provides IT infrastructure, guest applications and support, giving Costa a ready-to-go, high-performance solution from a single source.

Our Costa Diadema is the embodiment of our ‘Italy’s finest’ philosophy. So it deserves ‘IT’s finest.’ Thanks to Velimo, the Costa Diadema now has an innovative solution for guest entertainment and communication that exceeds customers’ expectations and makes it easier to interact with them.

Franco Caraffi
IT Director, Carnival Maritime (Costa Group)