The Costa Concordia, carrying 3,200 passengers and 1,000 crew members, turned on its side after striking rocks off the Italian island of Giglio on Jan. 13, 2012. See the astonishing images of the Costa Concordia and learn more about the ship.
The ship ran aground off the small and picturesque Tuscan island of Giglio after hitting a rock beneath the surface of the water.
The accident killed at least 32 passengers.
Survivors recounted a frantic rush by passengers to get on lifeboats, while the crew appeared helpless and overwhelmed to cope.
About 4,200 people were on board the ship when it ran aground. Most of the passengers were Italian and an estimated 126 Americans were on board, according to the U.S. State Department.
A luxury cruise ship, the Costa Concordia was equipped with a wellness center, five restaurants, 13 bars, four swimming pools and a giant movie screen. The ship had 1,500 cabins.
The ship weighed in at more than 114,000 gross tonnage and measured 951 feet in length. A 160-foot (50-meter) gash in the hull sent water rushing into the vessel. It is owned by Genoa-based Costa Cruises and was christened in 2006, at which point the ship was believed to be the largest cruise ship flying the Italian flag.
In September 2013, 20 months after the ship ran aground, workers used huge pulleys, cables and steel tanks to pull the ship upright as part of an ongoing -- and complicated -- salvage operation.
This is the largest ship that parbuckling -- the technical term for righting a capsized vessel -- has ever been tried on. Normally the ship would have been blown apart, but that was not an option in this case because the ship was filled with noxious substances and there were two bodies still missing, according to officials with the salvage operation.
The process of righting the ship took 19 hours, and one official described it as the "perfect operation." The ship will still need a lot of repairs before it can be removed, but it didn't show signs of leaks, said Franco Gabrielli, the head of Italy's Civil Protection Authority.
Salvage crews will send in tiny robotic submarines to survey the damage, allowing workers to create models of the ship and decide how to best proceed with the next phase of the operation. The ultimate goal is to tow the ship to a new location, remove all the contents and return all items to their owners. That's not expected to happen until summer 2014.