(wikimedia)

Costa Cruises held a lavish naming event for Costa Diadema in its headquarters city of Genoa, Italy.

At 132,500 tons and more than 1,000 feet long, Costa’s new flagship, the “Regina del Mediterraneo” or Queen of the Mediterranean, was built at Fincantieri’s Marghera shipyard at a total investment of US$688 million. Costa Diadema arrived at Genoa at the end of its first or “Vernissage Cruise,” which departed Trieste, Italy, Nov. 1.

“Costa Diadema is our new flagship, and she will set new standards in the European cruise industry and further strengthen Costa’s leadership in Europe,” said Costa Crociere S.p.A. CEO Michael Thamm. “She is the best expression of our new brand positioning: Italy’s finest — its passion and modern Italian lifestyle, hospitality and elegance.”

Costa Diadema’s naming ceremony started at 5 p.m. CET today at Ponte dei Mille at Genoa’s historic Stazione Marittima. The event began with a parade of the godmother, Italian travel agent Carolina Miceli who was selected in a worldwide contest, and her international maids of honor representing Germany, France, Spain and China.

The ship was blessed by Cardinal Angelo Bagnasco, archbishop of Genoa and president of the Italian Episcopal Conference. Onstage in the elegant Emerald Theater the godmother pronounced the traditional “I give you the name Costa Diadema” and, assisted by Captain Massimo Garbarino, cut the ribbon to break a 3-liter jeroboam of Ferrari Gran Cuvée Trentodoc spumante on the bow of the new flagship.