MSC Bellissima is heading to Asia in spring 2020

MSC Bellissima - Mediterranean-style promenade, Cirque du Soleil at Sea shows nightly and a next-generation MSC Yacht Club spanning three decks MSC Bellissima - Mediterranean-style promenade, Cirque du Soleil at Sea shows nightly and a next-generation MSC Yacht Club spanning three decks

As MSC Splendida arrived in Chinese waters on Tuesday, MSC Cruises announced newbuild MSC Bellissima will be deployed in Asia in spring 2020, becoming the line's newest flagship in the region.

This second Meraviglia-class ship is under construction at STX France and due to enter service in March 2019.

New features for Asian cruisers

Following its inaugural season in the Mediterranean next summer, MSC Bellissima will redeploy to China and Japan. The ship will introduce the market to features like the longest LED Sky Screen at Sea within a Mediterranean-style promenade, new Cirque du Soleil at Sea shows available nightly and a next-generation MSC Yacht Club spanning three decks.

While MSC Bellissima will be mostly based in Shanghai to serve the Chinese home market, the ship also will offer a number of sailings from Japan.

Speaking at an official meeting with Shanghai Vice Mayor Chen Qun, Gianni Onorato, MSC Cruises’ CEO, said the Asia market is a 'global priority, and we are committed to serving it with our very best ships and products.'

MSC Splendida's inaugural season from Shanghai and Yokohama

In addition, MSC Splendida has completed its 'Maritime Silk Road' sailing, from Dubai to Shanghai. During the ship's inaugural season, it will operate mainly from Shanghai and Yokohama, Japan. The 137,936gt vessel is among the largest and most modern cruise ships currently deployed in Asia. It can carry 4,363 passengers.

MSC Splendida just completed an extensive overhaul to renovate interiors and install new features and experiences to meet the expectations of Chinese and Asian travelers. The ship now features an exclusive selection of Asian and Western cuisines in three new restaurants: the signature hot pot restaurant, Sea Pavilion, by the acclaimed Chinese chef Jereme Leung; the Hong Kong style Dim Sum & Teahouse; and the Butcher’s Cut, an American-style steak house that's a signature MSC venue.

MSC for Me

MSC Splendida is also now equipped with the latest evolution of MSC for Me, the company's digital innovation program. Features include a dedicated app to help cruisers tailor their experience at any point on their journey, whether booking their excursions prior to embarkation or reserving a specialty restaurant while relaxing by the top-deck pool.

MSC Splendida also provides a portable Wi-Fi translator enabled by Baidu’s AI technology and supports payments via Alipay, an easy-to-use payment method providing discounted exchange rates without Internet connection.

On April 27 the ship is due to arrive in Yokohama, where MSC Cruises will celebrate its 10th anniversary in Japan.

Posted 24 April 2018

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Anne Kalosh

Editor, Seatrade Cruise News & Senior Associate Editor Seatrade Cruise Review

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