It’s not a “farewell” but a “goodbye for now”. Here’s to better times. Perhaps with a view to the hoped-for resumption of port traffic. This was how the captain of the Costa Diadema , Antonio Tommaso Tateo, put it, during the exchange of greetings with those who worked over the last few months to enable over 800 seafarers of 21 different nationalities to disembark safely .
After 65 days in Piombino, the cruise ship, after being granted the free pratique from the Maritime Health Authority two days ago, has now left its moorings, heading towards Civitavecchia, where the shipowner intends to concentrate his vessels.
The ceremony – which was followed by the traditional exchange of crests- was attended by all the institutions, including the Deputy Chief of Police , Walter Delfino, the Mayor of Piombino, Francesco Ferrari, and the Port Network Authority, represented by the Head of its Territorial Office in Piombino, Claudio Capuano and Manager Sandra Muccetti. Also present were the Second-in-Command of the Harbour Master’s Office, Andrea Porzio, the Commander of the Military Police, Massimiliano Massarelli, the Shipping Agent, Alessandro Freschi, the Head of the Mooring Service, Ettore Rosalba and the Chief Pilot, Igor Bazzano.
The captain of the Diadema expressed his gratitude to the city for the treatment they received: “I thank everyone for their hospitality” – he said in front of everyone present at the ceremony – “thanks to your professionalism and the support we received, everything was easy”.
Mr Tateo also stated that he greatly appreciated how well the port of Piombino and of the Pecoraro pier are operated, and how Piombino was able to accommodate a ship like the Diadema (306 meters long and 37meters wide): “I can’t rule out” – he added – “that in the near future Costa may well decide to have its vessels calling at your port”.
For the ship’s captain, this choice would certainly not be dictated by gratitude for the “excellent hospitality”, but by the efficiency of a port perfectly capable of responding proactively to vessel needs.
“Thanks to the success of the Diadema experience”, said Claudio Capuano, “Piombino can explore new terrain in the cruise business, welcoming larger ships than those that have used our quays to date. This recent emergency, and Captain Tateo’s praise which is greatly appreciated, show that the port of Piombino can achieve this goal, setting new standards”.
Should Costa ever decide to call at the port of Piombino with its larger vessels, “we will not be caught unprepared, but we will work to raise the quality standards of our services”, concluded Mr. Capuano.
The President of the Port Network Authority, Stefano Corsini, also expressed his satisfaction: “I thank everyone for their commitment” – he said – “Piombino is growing and the fleet, thanks also to this successful experience, is beginning to appreciate its potential. In view of the short-distance cruise season, the port is a fascinating destination, two strokes from Elba and with a surrounding area rich in extraordinary natural and historical attractions. The captain’s parting words are a most fitting final greeting and we warmly return it.”
Translation by Giles Foster