MSC Cruises’ executive chairman, Pierfrancesco Vago, commented: ‘Today we are celebrating a truly unique moment, as it is the first time that key shipbuilding milestones for two different ships are celebrated on the same day.’
Vago revealed that the first of two Meraviglia-Plus ships will be named MSC Grandiosa: ‘The Meraviglia generation of ships is already setting a new standard for the cruise industry and is just one of the three brand new prototypes that we have designed to bring the cruise guest experience to the next level. MSC Grandiosa is named to signify magnificence and grandeur, a fitting name for this even richer, ultra-modern mega-ship.’
As earlier reported, MSC Grandiosa will feature the first fine art museum at sea and will be the third of only four MSC Cruises ships to exclusively feature Cirque du Soleil at Sea, hosted in the uniquely complex, custom-built Carousel Lounge,’ Vogo confirmed.
Among other innovations the ships will feature EGCS (hybrid systems), SCR-catalysts, state-of-the-art waste management and recycling capabilities, emission-reducing energy and heat recovery systems, and highly advanced wastewater treatment.
At the traditional coin ceremony for MSC Bellissima, two commemorative coins were placed into one of the ship’s blocks.
Bellissima is due to come into service in March 2019 and Grandiosa in November 2019.
Laurent Castaing, gm of STX France, commented: ‘Today as we celebrate a cutting of the first steel and then a keel laying in the same day, we are living an unprecedented experience that marks the beginning of a new era, both for our client and for our yard.'
He called the events an ‘illustration of our very healthy order book, which leads us to deliver two ships a year until 2022. We are partners in the same virtuous circle, where boldness and the performance of each is a benefit to the other.’
The Meraviglia-Plus ships are 181,000gt and 331 mtr in length and maximum capacity of 6,334 guests.
The above two ships are part of MSC Cruises’ current investment plan, which includes the development of new prototypes for each of the three new classes of ships – the Meraviglia class, Seaside Class and World Class.
This June, MSC Cruises launched the first of these new ships, MSC Meraviglia in Le Havre and in December MSC Seaside will come into service in Miami.
In June 2018 MSC Seaview will join the fleet.