Etichs&Compliance and Safety

Costa Cruises’ determination to operate ethically and transparently is a pillar of our model of sustainable development and creation of value. The basic principles underpinning the commitment to maintaining the highest ethical standards are set out in Carnival Corporation & plc’s Code of Business Conduct and Ethics , which is fully embraced and applied by the Company. The Code of Ethics provides the framework for the formulation of corporate policies and Company procedures regarding human rights, diversity and inclusion, business integrity, conflicts of interest, forms of corruption, environmental protection and sustainability. Similarly, the building of solid relations with suppliers, agents and other business partners is based on the values of transparency and accountability. For this reason, our contracts and agreements with them include specific terms and conditions whereby they agree to abide by the Business Partner Code of Conduct and Ethics and the Anticorruption Policy & Guidelines and the Anticorruption Policy & Guidelines and Antitrust Policy & Guidelines defined by Carnival Corporation & plc.


With specific regard to human rights, pursuant to the United Kingdom’s Modern Slavery Act 2015 , our Code of Business Conduct and Ethics explicitly condemns all forms of child exploitation and forced labor and states its intent to comply with and support laws and regulations relevant to slavery and human trafficking. In addition, Costa Cruises expects all of its suppliers to respect and follow these requirements and to embrace our Business Partner Code, which specifically prohibits the use of slavery and human trafficking in our direct supply chain.

The other areas covered by our corporate governance model are as follows: 

- the Business Management Model (in accordance with the provisions of Legislative Decree no. 231/2001), which plays a part both in clearly allocating responsibility and power within the organization and in guaranteeing the transparency of decision-making and control processes. Costa Cruises periodically updates the model to take account of critical issues arising from time to time and to ensure continuous improvement. 

- an Ethics Committee, appointed to deal with ethical questions and to prevent - or if necessary manage - conflicts of interest, identifying any risk situations with consequent mapping and monitoring. 

- an integrated whistleblowing system (protected disclosure of any wrongdoing in the workplace) serving as a hotline between the Company and its employees. At the same time, in accordance with the MLC2006 and with the specific procedure for onboard complaints, any grievances are handled autonomously by the shipboard HR Director and discussed with the employee concerned; depending on the nature of the complaint, intervention by Costa Headquarters may be required.

Our governance model also takes account of the ILO core conventions and the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises, as well as OFAC directives limiting or prohibiting business transactions with countries for which economic sanctions are in place.


A necessary condition for responsible business management is the constant and meticulous monitoring of the risks to which a particular enterprise is exposed. Mapping of these risks entails in-depth analysis of the different areas involved. In addition to the risk factors affecting tourism as a whole, others are more specific to the cruise industry


– for example shipboard safety, the effect of the geopolitical situation on routes, itineraries and destinations, and regulatory compliance, especially with regard to environmental laws. In Costa Cruises, the risk prevention and management policy is based on a model developed globally by Carnival Corporation and taking into account the main international Enterprise Risk Management (ERM) standards. It is administered by the Risk Advisory and Assurance (RAAS) Department. This department works closely with management to perform annual assessments, identify risks and evaluate controls to ensure compliance with Company policies and procedures, as well as laws and regulations. Management reviews the assessments and updates thereto with the Audit Committee.


For Costa, guaranteeing safety ashore, on board and throughout the voyage (including embarkation and disembarkation of guests) is a vital part of responsible business management. We do our utmost to foster an across-the-board safety-centric corporate culture in order to prevent any potential risk and help ensure that safety is of the utmost concern to the cruise industry as a whole. The Company goes beyond mere compliance with reference standards and regulations and also acts in accordance with the guidelines laid down by Carnival Corporation & plc. The relevant procedures are implemented using an integrated approach and are always in line with the key reference policy, namely the Corporate (Health, Environment, Safety & Security) HESS Policy. Costa Cruises’ Safety Management System (SMS) ensures that occupational safety is an integral part of its managerial processes with harmonization between the Corporation’s practices and procedures, regulatory requirements and the OSHAS 18001 standard.


More specifically, safety management covers the following areas:


Costa Cruises’ ships are designed, built and maintained in full compliance with international safety standards. They are also subjected to regular dry-docking and periodical surveys and audits, as well as unscheduled inspections. The Company has a satellite communication system to ensure constant real-time global coverage of all the members of the fleet as well as of the sea and weather conditions.


Costa has an electronic system – using cards given to guests and a server – for the identification of people on board the ship and the management of the regularly scheduled boat drills held in embarkation ports before departure. Security personnel (comprising local maritime security service providers at the different destinations) maintain strict access control to the ships during port calls. A general safety video is also aired on the in-cabin television system for guest viewing. We also provide full assistance by means of the Care Team, a special Costa emergency response unit set up to handle cases involving individual passengers.


Shipboard employees
Costa’s Occupational Health and Safety Management System, designed especially for its crew members, is in compliance with applicable laws, general requirements and industry-specific rules, including the reference standard. All our shipboard employees take part in job-specific, safety training programs. We also provide full assistance by means of the Crew Care Team, a special Costa emergency response unit set up to handle cases involving individual crew members.

Shoreside employees
General health and safety training in Costa’s shoreside offices is provided in the classroom with practical courses for First Aid & Emergency Responders. In 2019 the Company delivered 1.256.108 health & safety training hours, including distance learning.


The Company pays close attention to the global geopolitical situation and analyzes the intelligence gathered from the relevant stakeholders (Embassies, Consulates and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs) in order to determine in advance whether it is necessary to change an itinerary and any port calls. The same type of approach is used when it comes to planning shore tours.

Other governance topics

Sustainability and Governance

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Sustainable development

The specificity of Costa Cruises’ business means it faces a number of challenges related to environmental sustainability and the global socio-economic landscape. To prevent and manage risks, Costa has adopted an integrated model...

Stakeholders and material issues

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Diversity & inclusion

Costa Cruises’ human capital is characterized by its rich diversity in terms of professionalism, multiculturalism and skills. Empowerment of our people is a key policy of the Company, which aims to capitalize on the commitment...


Costa Cruises manages its resources and the different forms of capital at its disposal ethically and responsibly, thereby stimulating a distinctive approach to business that is a model of excellence...