It was once the pride of a cruise line's luxury fleet. Now, four years after it sank, this is the rotting interior of the ill-fated Costa Concordia.

The bright decor has faded, carpets are covered in mud and debris is everywhere. Wires hang from the ceiling and surfaces are encrusted with coral and sea plants. Rusty poker machines and abandoned gambling chips are the only clues that one room was once the casino.

The Concordia hit rocks off the Italian island of Giglio on January 13, 2012, and capsized, killing 32 of its 4200 passengers. It was refloated in the summer of 2014 and towed to Genoa to be scrapped.

While the vessel was moored outside port, German photographer Jonathan Danko Kielkowski - who had been denied official permission to go aboard - seized his chance.


Although his first attempt to get on the ship was thwarted by security guards, he tried again. He swam 200 metres out to the Concordia under cover of darkness, waited until dawn and clambered on.

Kielkowski said: "You felt this panic everywhere. The hallways are extremely narrow and the ceilings low. You walk down the aisle and there are pieces of luggage, pushchairs, wheelchairs." His photographs can be seen in his book Concordia, published by White Press, with words by Christoph Schaden.

The Concordia's captain, Francesco Schettino, who abandoned ship before his passengers were rescued, was found guilty of manslaughter last year. He was sentenced to 16 years in jail but remains free while he exhausts Italy's appeals system.

- Daily Mail