A staircase on the sunken Costa Concordia. Kielkowski writes in his book Concordia. "Against all odds, I find the shipwreck freely accessible - neither fences nor security personnel! Rather, the doors are open, lights are turned on, no man can be seen - nothing in the way to document…"
Kielkowski's first attempt to swim to the ship to capture images was thwarted by the coast guard. His second attempt was successful. These haunting images, compiled in his new book, capture the former grandeur of the floating hotel and reminds us that even mega cruise ships are not immune from the dangers of the sea.
The ship struck a submerged rock while in the Mediterranean Sea causing the $570-million ship to sink. In July 2014, the ship was towed from the wreck site to the port of Genoa in northwest Italy, where it is the process of being dismantled and scrapped.
Sunlight illuminates the algae covered ceiling. It has been four years since the Costa Concordia sank. Francesco Schettino, the ship’s captain, was jailed for 16 years over the accident and today Americans on the cruise are still fighting for compensation.
The Concordia was a massive ship with four swimming pools, tennis courts, 13 bars, a cinema and a casino.
Casino chip lay scattered about as if they simply dropped from the tables.
Slot machines laid bare among the ruins.
Wiring hangs down from the ceiling and massive installations litter a room.
The once grand atrium is now covered with sea plants.
The Costa Concordia is now just a rusted hull. It remains one of the largest maritime salvage operations in history.
German freelance photographer Jonathan Danko Kielkowski swam out to where the destroyed Costa Concordia was moored to capture these haunting images of cruise ship, which have now been compiled in his book Concordia, published by White Press. In 2012, the cruise ship ran aground off Tuscany, killing 32 people.