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Adding balcony rooms a focus of MSC's Lirica-class upgrade

MSC’s Onorato (left) - Increasing the number of balcony cabins is a focus
A 25-meter midsection containing new passenger and crew cabins and public areas will be inserted into MSC Cruises' Lirica-class ships as part of the company's €200m 'renaissance' project at Fincantieri.

Neither Fincantieri nor MSC indicated where the lengthening and upgrade of MSC Armonia, MSC Sinfonia, MSC Opera and MSC Lirica will take place, but Seatrade Insider understands the Palermo yard is likely to take on the work.

The hull of each ship is expected to be cut at the main vertical zone corresponding to the location of the third lifeboat from the stern. The new midsection module will contain passenger and crew cabins and public areas. Plus, additional passenger rooms will go into other ship areas. Each ship will gain 193 passenger accommodations and 59 crew rooms.

Increasing the number of balcony cabins is a focus, according to MSC Cruises ceo Gianni Onorato.

Most of the ships will be gaining 88 balcony accommodations as Fincantieri adds balconies to 56 existing ocean-view rooms and the midsection brings 32 more, 16 on Deck 9 and 16 on Deck 10.

As earlier detailed, following this 'renaissance' program, each ship's length will go from 251 meters to 275 meters and gross tonnage from 60,000 to 65,000. Passenger capacity will rise from 2,069 to 2,680 per vessel.

MSC Armonia is scheduled to undergo the work in 2014, from Aug. 31 to Nov. 17, while the other ships will get the changes in 2015 dockings—MSC Sinfonia from Jan. 12 to March 1, MSC Opera May 2 to July 4 and MSC Lirica Aug. 21 to Nov. 9.