Pierfrancesco Vago, ceo MSC Cruises, and Jacques Hardelay, md of the yard, accompanied European media on a tour of MSC Splendida's engine room and then onto MSC Fantasia following her return from sea trials.
Earlier, on Sunday, MSC Splendida, the second of the two 133,000gt newbuilds, was floated out from the building dock to a fitting out berth where she will remain until her construction has been completed mid 2009.
MSC Fantasia will be first to enter service in December this year. The two post-Panamaxes, the first for MSC, herald a new era for the company, stated Vago, who has tagged them as 'the most beautiful ships in the world'. He asserts the big statement is justified in relation to the interiors, 'as they will contain materials never used before on a cruise ship', he told Seatrade Insider. Aker's Hardelay backed up the claim.
For example, Vago cited the 5,000sq mtr exclusive MSC Yacht Club which is built with 'yacht-style elegant materials such as walnut wood for the walls, decorated panels in Alcantara, furniture in wenge and marble bathrooms.' The flooring of the concierge lounge is wood with Siena yellow marble inlays. The stairs that connect this area on deck 15 and the MSC Yacht Club suites on the deck above will have steps in Swarovski crystal illuminated with LED lights whilst the internal flooring will be decorated with black Saint Laurent and Sienna yellow marble.
Fantasia has been designed by Studio de Jorio International and the 27,000sq mtr of public areas include a 1,649-seater theatre, the 1,615sq mtr Aurea Spa, four restaurants and two buffet areas, including a Tex Mex and panoramic restaurant, a jazz bar, sports bar and coffee bar, four pools including one with retractable roof (it is the brand's first purpose built ship for year-round Med cruising), 12 Jacuzzis, casino, 4D interactive cinema, squash court and special area dedicated to children and teenagers with pool, aqua park and dedicated disco.
Despite being 40mtr longer than the Musica-class, MSC Fantasia has a cosier environment with its 40 separate public areas, according to Vago. 'You will see many square-dimensional areas and you will find no long straight corridors on board,' he said. This latter point is also noticeable from outside the ship with a midships area that is indented breaking the traditional long straight bank of balconied cabins.
Vago believes the ship's environmental advances are key to the company's future success. He proudly showed off Splendida's suite of eco friendly technology designed to conserve energy and safeguard the environment which includes Scanship supplied advanced wastewater treatment system, waste management plant and thermal treatment plant (capable of treating 10 tons of waste a day), a Hamworthy Serck distillating plant and York manufactured CFC-free chilling system. The five Wärtsilä diesel engines are fitted into two rooms, two in the aft and three up front.
MSC Fantasia has also been awarded Bureau Veritas' highest notations and certification for Quality, Health, Safety and Environment (QHSE) for cruise ships.