Italian police release footage showing the underwater exterior and interior of the wrecked cruise ship Costa Concordia.
New images from inside Costa Concordia
02:02 - Source: CNN

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The vessel is being towed to the Italian port of Genoa

Dismantling the cruise ship could take two years

32 passengers and crew were killed when the ship capsized in 2012

Giglio, Italy CNN  — 

The wrecked Costa Concordia cruise ship is about to make its final voyage.

Salvage crews began the arduous task of refloating the ship last week so they can move it from its resting place off Giglio Island to the Italian port of Genoa to be dismantled.

It is set to sail Wednesday morning, according to Nick Sloane, the senior salvage master.

Attached to its sides are the huge steel hollow boxes, or sponsons, that were pumped full of compressed air to give the ship buoyancy.

It’s been more than 2½ years since the ship ran aground off Giglio Island with more than 4,200 passengers aboard, killing 32 people in a disaster that drew global attention.

The vessel will be towed – slowly and carefully – approximately 240 kilometers (150 miles) to Genoa, where it will be broken up. A convoy of 17 boats will travel along with it.

The ship is expected to arrive in Genoa on Sunday, Sloane said. It’ll take about two years to dismantle the massive cruise liner.

Environmental concerns prompted the decision to undertake the expensive and difficult process of refloating the Costa Concordia rather than taking it apart on site.

Since the wreck two years ago, 24 metric tons of debris – including furniture, dishes, food, personal effects and ship parts – have been recovered from the seabed.

The Costa Concordia is the largest salvage ever attempted – and the most expensive, at a cost of $1.5 billion so far.

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