Survivors and relatives of the 32 victims of the Costa Concordia disaster have returned to the Tuscan island of Giglio to mark two years since the luxury cruise liner capsized.

An evening ceremony was organised in the island's small port to coincide with the exact time the Concordia hit a reef off Giglio shore on 13 January 2012.

At 9.45pm local time (8.45pm Irish time), the time the Concordia first hit the rocks off Giglio two years ago, church bells rang and ships sounded their horns to salute the dead. 

The huge vessel was carrying more than 4,000 holidaymakers and crew when it sank, 32 people lost their lives.

After lying on its side in shallow water ever since keeling over, the Costa Concordia was hauled upright in September 2013 in a complicated 19-hour salvage operation.

 Officials last week said they aim to tow away the ship in June, which would make Monday's anniversary the last with the wreck still on the island.