The Costa Concordia cruise ship capsized after hitting rocks off the Tuscan island of Giglio.
Francesco Schettino was nicknamed “Captain Coward” by the media, after the coastguard released recordings of him in a lifeboat resisting orders to return to the stricken vessel.
More than 4,000 people were aboard at the time and were forced into a chaotic evacuation.
Prosecutors say Francesco Schettino steered too close to the island to show off to a dancer, Domnica Cemortan, who was with him at the helm.
However, he blamed communication problems with the Indonesian helmsman.
The court ruling was welcomed by a lawyer representing relatives of the victims, who said it represented justice at last.
The sentence included 10 years for manslaughter, five for causing the shipwreck, one for abandoning the ship before passengers and crew were clear, and one month for lying to the authorities afterwards.
Costa Crociere, the company that owned the Costa Concordia, sidestepped potential criminal charges in 2013 by agreeing to pay a €1 million ($1.1 million) fine.
Five of Francesco Schettino’s colleagues were also jailed for up to three years in earlier cases.
Moldovan dancer Domnica Cemortan admitted at Francesco Schettino’s trial she had been in a romantic relationship with the captain, and had been present on the ship’s bridge at the moment when the ship ran aground.
Francesco Schettino, the captain of the Costa Concordia cruise ship, faces manslaughter charges after the vessel ran aground in Italy, claiming the lives of 32 of those on board.
Domnica Cemortan admitted at Francesco Schettino’s trial she had been in a romantic relationship with the captain
Domnica Cemortan said: “The story that I distracted the captain is fake, because I was very far from him, he was working and acting like a captain.”
The Moldovan feels all the blame for the crash is being heaped Francesco Schettino, but said there “can not be only one person accused for this big accident, and I asking myself where are the others, where are the other officers in this story?”
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.”
Domnica Cemortan, a Moldovan dancer who was on the bridge of the Costa Concordia cruise ship with Captain Francesco Schettino, has admitted she was his lover at his trial.
Domnica Cemortan testified that she was in a romantic relationship with the captain and was with him when the cruise ship ran aground.
Francesco Schettino faces multiple charges of manslaughter and abandoning ship.
The January 2012 tragedy killed 32 people.
Francesco Schettino faces up to 20 years in prison if convicted.
On the night the Costa Concordia ran aground, Domnica Cemortan had dinner with Francesco Schettino before he invited her to join him on the bridge as he oversaw what was meant to be a close sail-past of the little Tuscan island of Giglio.
The Italian media has speculated the captain may have been distracted by Domnica Cemortan’s presence, or even showing off.
In court, Domnica Cemortan acknowledged after being pressed that they had been romantically involved. She boarded the ship as a non-paying passenger hours before the crash, saying “when you are someone’s lover no one asks you for a ticket.” Domnica Cemortan dismissed the remark as a joke to her translator.
Domnica Cemortan said she had worked for the company that operated the Costa Concordia for about three weeks in December 2011. She met Francesco Schettino on a previous cruise.
Domnica Cemortan testified that she was in a romantic relationship with Captain Francesco Schettino and was with him when the Costa Concordia cruise ship ran aground
After the ship hit the rocks, Domnica Cemortan said the captain urged her to “save herself”.
She told court that she helped other passengers to abandon ship before getting into a lifeboat herself.
The court is expected to hear evidence from about 1,000 surviving passengers and crew in Captain Francesco Schettino’s trial.
In testimony earlier in the day, a crew member from the cruise ship told the court he had asked the captain to sail closer to a Tuscan island as a favor to his family.
The ship’s maitre d’ Antonello Tievoli told the court in Grossetto, Italy that he had asked the captain if he could sail close to the island of Giglio because he has family there, the news agency AP reported.
Francesco Schettino obliged on January 6, but was apparently disappointed with the result, and ordered the ship’s helmsman to plot a closer route for next time.
A week later, the Costa Concordia ran aground on rocks after veering too close to the island, with 3,206 passengers and 1,023 crew aboard.
Francesco Schettino has acknowledged fault in the tragedy, but his defense team is arguing the ship sank in part because watertight doors did not function on the ship.
He also told the court in late September that his Indonesian helmsman was to blame for steering the ship onto rocks and ignoring orders to slow down.
However, an Italian naval expert told the trial these were not crucial factors and the crash would have happened anyway.
The helmsman, Jacob Rusli Bin, is one of five employees who were granted plea bargains in return for mild sentences in a separate proceeding. He was given a sentence of one year and eight months.
The 290m-long Costa Concordia ship was righted last month in one of the largest, most complex salvage operations ever that took 18 hours and followed months of stabilization 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, a young waiter. An Italian passenger, Maria Grazia Trecarichi, is still unaccounted for.
Plans are now being made to attempt to remove the Costa Concordia wreckage next year.