Costa Concordia cruise ship wreck will be removed from the coast of north-west Italy in June, officials say.
The stricken liner will then be taken away to be scrapped.
Ports in Italy, Britain, France, Turkey and China are bidding for the lucrative contract to dismantle the ship, Italian officials said.
The Costa Concordia hit a reef near the island of Giglio in January 2012 and capsized, killing 32 people.
Captain Francesco Schettino is currently on trial for multiple charges of manslaughter and for abandoning ship.
Officials overseeing the Costa Concordia salvage operation set out their timetable at a news conference on Friday.
Costa Concordia cruise ship wreck will be removed from the coast of north-west Italy in June
Project manager Franco Porcellacchia said that, from April, the team would start to fix at least 15 large tanks to the side of the ship. They will be filled with water, and then gradually emptied to give the ship enough buoyancy to float off the seabed.
Once afloat, the ship can then be towed away.
Franco Porcellacchia said if that does not work then the world’s largest semi-submergible ship, the Dockwise Vanguard, will be on standby and can literally carry the ship into port.
The winning contract for dismantling the Costa Concordia is due to be announced in March.
Italy’s environment minister Andrea Orlando said the preference was to keep the project in Italy, both to limit the environmental impact and to keep any economic benefits.
The 290m-long vessel was righted last September in one of the largest, most complex salvage operations ever that took 18 hours and followed months of stabilisation and preparation work by a team of 500 engineers and divers.
That operation allowed divers to retrieve the remains of one of the two people still missing in the disaster, believed to be an Italian passenger, Maria Grazia Trecarichi. An Indian waiter, Russel Rebello, is still unaccounted for.
Francesco Schettino’s former lover Domnica Cemortan has revealed how she used to sneak into the Costa Concordia captain’s cabin.
Captain Francesco Schettino, 53, is on trial in Italy being charged with manslaughter after 32 people died in Costa Concordia cruise ship disaster last year. Domnica Cemortan, 26, was spotted dining with Captain Francesco Schettino on the night the doomed cruise liner capsized.
Despite previously denying any affair with Francesco Schettino, when quizzed in court Domnica Cemortan admitted she was his mistress.
The Moldovan beauty has now revealed how she would sneak into his cabin at 2 a.m. just hours before Francesco Schettino had to be on duty.
Domnica Cemortan told the Sun: “I would make my way to his cabin in the middle of the night. It was all very secretive. I had to make sure no one saw me.”
Francesco Schettino and Domnica Cemortan met on the Costa Concordia cruise ship in December 2011 and began an affair when she returned to the ill-fated liner in January 2012 after Schettino bombarded her with phone calls and emails.
Francesco Schettino’s former lover Domnica Cemortan has revealed how she used to sneak into the Costa Concordia captain’s cabin
Domnica Cemortan admits she was “captivated” by Francesco Schettino and told how they kissed for the first time in his office.
The Moldovan told the newspaper: “I don’t think anyone ever saw me leave his cabin but people were certainly gossiping about us.”
Domnica Cemortan, a mother of one, also hit back after being branded the “blonde siren” who seduced Captain Francesco Schettino.
She told the Sun: “I’m talked about as an <<easy girl>>, the <<blonde sl*t>> who distracted the captain and caused the crash. It’s so wrong. I’m not some little tart.”
Domnica Cemortan, who was with Francesco Schettino on the bridge of the Costa Concordia when it struck rocks, was one of thousands of passengers forced to fight for their lives.
She fled and managed to get into a lifeboat – but narrowly escaped with her life after the ship started to come down on top of it “like something out of a disaster movie.”
Despite her ordeal, Domnica Cemortan maintains that Francesco Schettino is innocent.
Francesco Schettino faces 20 years in prison over charges of manslaughter, causing a shipwreck and abandoning ship.
Domnica Cemortan said of the captain: “I pray he doesn’t go to jail. I feel so sorry for him.”