Construction begins on MSC Meraviglia, due to be completed in May 2017
MSC Cruises has today revealed the name of its first new Vista project mega ship, MSC Meraviglia, meaning ‘wonder’ in Italian.
MSC Cruises Executive Chairman Pierfrancesco Vago said: “MSC Meraviglia will be the biggest and most innovative cruise ship ever built by a global European-based cruise line.”
Speaking at the ceremonial steel-cutting at the STX France shipyard in Saint-Nazaire, Vago added: “We chose a name that denotes a sense of awe and wonderment, because of the many stunning features planned. Today, building started on a true maritime marvel.”
The steel-cutting ceremony marked the start of construction on the ship, which will be delivered in May 2017, with bookings scheduled to open in June this year.
The work on the 330-metre MSC Meraviglia marks the start of MSC Cruises‘ seven-ship, €5.1 billion investment plan that will double the cruise line’s capacity by 2022.
The ship, which will carry up to 4,500 passengers and will spend its first summer sailing the western Mediterranean. In a first for the cruise industry, it will have three home ports – Genoa, Marseille and Barcelona – giving UK guests the flexibility to choose where they start and finish their cruise holiday.
Gianni Onorato, MSC Cruises Chief Executive Officer said: “MSC Meraviglia will be one of the greenest and safest ships in the industry, as well as one of the most technologically advanced.”
Among the features planned for the ship is the creation of special interlinked ‘cluster cabins’, which will allow up to three cabins to be opened up to accommodate larger family groups.
On board, guests will be able to access a whole range of facilities via the latest Near Field Communication technology. By using NFC wristbands, cruise cards or their smartphone, guests will be able to make payments, book spa treatments and speciality restaurants, access their cabin and safe, and even geo-locate their children.
Entertainment will include a large outdoor waterpark connected to a double-deck indoor amusement park; double-deck aft lounge and entertainment space; and a two-deck interior promenade styled like a Mediterranean village packed with shops, bars and speciality dining. It will be covered by a 480-sq metre LED dome ceiling, which forms a ‘digital sky’ beaming out images and visual shows.
The ship will also feature an extended MSC Yacht Club area and for the first time, the ‘ship within a ship’ area will include the option of duplex suites, along with its own solarium, lounge and fine-dining restaurant.
MSC Meraviglia is the first of two identical ships on order from STX France, the second of which is scheduled to be delivered in 2019. In addition, MSC Cruises has options for two further Vista project ships to be delivered by 2022.
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