Two and a half years have passed since the cruise ship Costa Concordia ran aground outside of Giglio, Italy, killing 32 people and leaving the ship partially submerged in shallow water. Salvage crews worked tirelessly to re-float the wreck last week, filling steel boxes with air to serve as pontoons. Other boats will now tow the ship on its 240-kilometer (150-mile) journey to Genoa, Italy.
The Costa Concordia operation is the largest salvage attempt to date, with the ship weighing in at 114,500 tons. Dismantling the vessel on the reef was not an option. “It’s far more dangerous to the environment to leave it where it is than to tow it away,” Italy’s civil-protection chief Franco Gabrielli told Giglio residents.
The floatation and salvation project is expected to cost more than $2 billion. TIME takes a look at the Costa Concordia's journey so far.